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In the Era of Youth: The Indian Student Placement Program 

"One Qf the greatest 
spheres of influence in tf\e 

lives ofydungmen and 
Women of college age is tf\e 
institute of Religion 
adjacent to college campuses- 

<7 strongly urge tljat each 

and evefy c Latter-day Saint 

yOuth attending institutions 

of higher learning otljer 

than our Qiurcli c University 

arjd colleges becomes irjyolved 

hi thi s inspired program . " 

c Pre§ident ( T>avidO.<£Mc c Ka!r 

Involve yourself in the Institute program now! 

Cover Note 

"A choice people in a choice land!" The 
red sands and blue skies of Monument 
Valley, Arizona, and the three young 
Navajo girls in colorful native dress pic- 
tured on our August cover point to the 
fulfillment of these Book of Mormon 
words, as told in articles in the Era of 
Youth about today's Indian youth and 
their achievements. 

The cover picture was taken by Don 
Gabbott of Bountiful, Utah. 

Mail for Canadian Missionaries 

During the Canadian postal strike, air and 
first class mail to the Alaskan-Canadian Mis- 
sion is being addressed to P. 0. Box 154, 
Custer, Washington; Western Canadian Mis- 
sion, c/o Ralph Sluys, P. 0. Box 9000, Great 
Falls, Montana; and Canadian Mission, P. 0. 
Box 696, Falls Station, Niagara Falls, New 

Official organ of the Priesthood Quorums. Mutual Improvement Associations. 
Home Teaching Committee, Music Committee. Church School System, and 
other agencies of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

The Improvement Era, 79 South State, Salt Lake City. Utah 84111 

August 1968 

The Voice of the Church 

August 1968 

Volume 71, Number 8 

Special Features 

2 Editor's Page: On This Evidence, President David 0. McKay 

9 The Long Hot Summer of 1912 (Part 1), Karl E. Young 

18 Oliver Cowdery's Non-Mormon Reputation, Dr. Richard L. Anderson 

33 How Much Do You Want to Pay for Your Money? Melvin L. (Bud) Brain 

53 A New Look at the Pearl of Great Price: Part 4, Second String, Dr. 

Hugh Nibley 

73 My Sick-a-Bed Pillows, Florence J. Johnson 

81 New England Leadership in the Rise and Progress of the Church, 

Dr. Gustive O. Larson 

Regular Features 

5 The Era Asks President N. Eldon Tanner About the Word of Wisdom 

28 The LDS Scene 

30 Major Genealogical Resources in the Netherlands 

34 Lest We Forget: Sam Brannan and the Sea Saints, Albert L. Zobell, Jr. 
65 Teaching: It's Later Than It Has Ever Been Before, Jim Johnston 

70 Today's Family: Swings and Things, Florence B. Pinnock 

74 The Presiding Bishopric's Page: The Presiding Bishop Talks to Youth 
About Decisions, Bishop John H. Vandenberg 

76 The Church Moves On 

78 Buffs and Rebuffs 

85 These Times: Church Ceremonial, Dr. G. Homer Durham 

88 End of an Era 

35, 69, 77, 78 The Spoken Word, Richard L. Evans 

Era of Youth 

37-52 Marion D. Hanks and Elaine Cannon, Editors 


4, 8, 36, 49, 69, 79, 80, 84 Poetry 

David 0. McKay and Richard L. Evans, Editors; Doyle L Green. Managing Editor; Albert L. Zobell, Jr., Research Editor; Mabel Jones Gabbott, Jay M. Todd, 
Eleanor Knowles, William T. Sykes, Editorial Associates; Florence B. Pinnock. Today's Family Editor; Marion D. Hanks, Era of Youth Editor; Elaine Cannon. 
Era of Youth Associate Editor; Ralph Reynolds, Art Director; Norman F. Price, Staff Artist. 

G. Homer Durham, Franklin S. Harris. Jr., Hugh Nibley, Sidney B. Sperry, Albert L Payne, Contributing Editors. 

G. Carlos Smith. Jr., General Manager; Florence S, Jacobsen, Associate General Manager; Verl F. Scott. Business Manager; A. Glen Snarr, Acting Business 

Manager and Subscription Director; Thayer Evans, S. Glenn Smith, Advertising Representatives. 

©General Superintendent, Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1968, and published by the 

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act of October 1917, authorized July 2, 1918. 

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On This Evidence 

• "I charge thee therefore before God," Paul 
wrote to Timothy, "and the Lord Jesus Christ, 
who shall judge the quick and the dead at his 
appearing and his kingdom; 

"Preach the word; be instant in season, out of 
season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long- 
suffering and doctrine. 

"For the time will come when they will not 
endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts 
shall they heap to themselves teachers, having 
itching ears; 

"And they shall turn away their ears from the 
truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 

"But watch thou in all things, endure afflic- 
tions, do the work of an evangelist, make full 
proof of thy ministry." (2 Tim. 4:1-5.) 

When Paul wrote this, he was a prisoner at 
Rome. These are among his last recorded words 
to Timothy, his son in the faith. In that first 
sentence Paul declares the existence of God, 
which he supports authoritatively in his writings. 
He declares the divinity of Jesus Christ, and the 
reality of his resurrection. 

"Preach the word," Paul admonishes Timothy. 
What "word"? That "Jesus Christ, who hath 
abolished death, . . . hath brought life and immor- 
tality to light through the gospel." (2 Tim. 1:10.) 

"Behold the man!" said Pontius Pilate, Roman 
governor of Judea, as Jesus, mockingly bedecked 
with a purple robe, his head covered with a crown 
of thorns, stood before the mob, which cried, 
"Crucify him, crucify him!" (John 19:5-6.) 

As on the occasion of that historic trial, so 
through the ages men have beheld Christ from 
different viewpoints. Some who reject him as 
venomously as did the rabble see in him and in 
his disciples "investors of a Christian moral 
system that has undermined and sapped the vigor 
of the European world." Others with clearer in- 
sight, begotten by experience, behold him as the 
originator of a system that "promotes industry, 
honesty, truth, purity, and kindness, a system 
that upholds law, favors liberty; is essential to 
it, and would unite men in one great brotherhood." 

Others behold him as the "one perfect charac- 

ter — the peerless personality of history," but deny 
his divinity. Millions accept him as the Great 
Teacher, whose teachings, however, are not 
applicable to modern social conditions. A few — 
oh, how few — of the approximately three and one- 
half billion inhabitants of the globe accept him 
for what he really is — the Only Begotten of the 
Father, who "came into the world, even Jesus, 
to be crucified for the world, and to bear the sins 
of the world, and to sanctify the world, and to 
cleanse it from all unrighteousness." (D&C 

Prove it as a fact that Christ did appear after 
death as a glorified, resurrected being and you 
have the answer to the question of the ages : "If 
a man die, shall he live again?" Look at the deep 
significance of the testimony of the Savior's 
disciples, who were stricken with gloom when he 
was crucified. That his death was a reality to 
them is shown in their intense grief, in the state- 
ment of Thomas, in the moral perplexity of Peter, 
and in the evident preparations for a permanent 
burial of their Master. Notwithstanding Christ's 
assurance, repeated often during the two and a 
half years he was with them, that he would re- 
turn to them after death, the apostles seemed 
not to have accepted, or not to have comprehended, 
that statement as a literal fact. 

What was it, we ask the world, that suddenly 
changed these disciples to confident, fearless, 
heroic preachers of the gospel of Jesus Christ? 
It was the reality that Christ had risen from the 
grave, his promises had been kept, his messianic 
mission had been fulfilled. 

On the evidence of these unprejudiced, un- 
expected, incredulous witnesses, the resurrection 
has its impregnable foundation. I like to think 
of one young man among them as an independent 
thinker. His mother had joined the Christian 
Church, but he did not pay much attention to it 
until he was disturbed one night by his mother's 
voice asking him to rise quickly: "Don't stop to 
dress; throw a cloak around your body and rush 
to Gethsemane. Tell Jesus that Judas and soldiers 
are coming to arrest him." I think that young 

Improvement Era 

By President David O. McKay 

man who fled was John Mark, the author of one 
of the four gospels. 

We have no evidence that Mark joined the 
Church while the Savior was on the earth. But 
we know that he did join the Church later, and 
that he labored with Peter. We know that Paul, 
in his letter to Timothy, said: "Bring Mark with 
you, for he is profitable to our ministry." (See 
2 Tim. 4:11.) We know Mark went on a mission 
to the northern part of Africa, and that travelers 
today can walk over ruins of structures built to 
his memory. 

Mark did not himself recount any appearance 
of the Risen Lord, but he testified that the Lord 
would meet his disciples. From Mark we hear the 
glorious proclamation of the first empty tomb in 
all the world. For the first time in history the 
words "here lies" were supplanted by the divine 
message, "He is risen." No one can doubt that 
Mark was convinced in his soul of the reality 
of the empty tomb ; and, if my inference is right, 
he knew about the trial, the humiliation to which 
Jesus was subjected, and the crucifixion. He 
devoted his life to the proclaiming of the gospel, 
and if tradition can be relied upon, he sealed his 
testimony with his blood. 

Luke stood by Paul's side at the jail, and not 
long after that, according to the tradition, Paul 
was beheaded. Luke was a physician. He spent 
many years of his life studying about the cruci- 
fied Savior. He experienced the darkness that 
spread over the country at the time of the cruci- 
fixion. In chapter 24, Luke testifies to the divine 
message: "Why seek ye the living among the 

"He is not here, but is risen. . . ." (Luke 24: 

With equal assurance, we can accept his state- 
ment and witness in regard to the testimonies of 
Peter and Paul and other apostles regarding the 
resurrection. "To whom also he [Christ] shewed 
himself alive after his passion by many infallible 
proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speak- 
ing of the things pertaining to the kingdom of 
God." (Acts 1:3.) 

Neither Mark nor Luke testifies as to having 
personally seen the Risen Lord, and, therefore, 
some urge that their recorded testimonies cannot 
be taken as firsthand evidence. That they do not 
so testify and yet were convinced that others did 
see him shows how incontrovertible was the 
evidence among the apostles and other disciples 
that the resurrection was a reality. 

Fortunately, we have the personal testimony of 
a witness to an appearance of Jesus after his 
death and burial. This personal testimony also 
corroborates the testimonies not only of Mark 
and Luke, but also of others. Saul, a Jew of 
Tarsus who was educated at the feet of the 
Pharisee Gamaliel, was, before his conversion, a 
bitter persecutor of all who believed in Jesus of 
Nazareth. Later the thoroughly converted Saul, 
now the apostle Paul, proclaimed: 

"For I delivered unto you first of all that which 
I also received, how that Christ died for our sins 
according to the scriptures; 

"And that he was buried, and that he rose 
again the third day according to the scriptures: 

"And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the 
twelve ; 

"After that, he was seen of above five hundred 
brethren at once; of whom the greater part re- 
main unto this present, but some are fallen 

"After that, he was seen of James ; then of all 
the apostles. 

"And last of all he was seen of me also, as of 
one born out of due time. 

"For I am the least of the apostles, that am 
not meet to be called an apostle, because I perse- 
cuted the church of God." (1 Cor. 15:3-9.) 

In addition to the ancient apostles, we have the 
testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith, who 
gives in an unequivocal description the following 
stirring testimony in relation to his first vision: 

". . . When the light rested upon me I saw 
two Personages . . . standing above me in the air. 
One of them spake unto me, calling me by name, 
and said, pointing to the other — This is My Be- 
loved Son. Hear,Him!"( Joseph Smith 2:17.) -*" 

August 1968 

These words were spoken about eighteen hundred 
years after the resurrection of the Savior. 

Thus, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day- 
Saints stands with Peter, Paul, James, and all of 
the apostles in accepting the resurrection as being 
not only literally true, but also as the consumma- 
tion of Christ's divine mission on earth. Other 
great religious leaders among the nations of the 
world since history began have taught virtue, 
temperance, self-control, service, obedience to 
righteousness and duty; some have taught belief 
in one supreme ruler and in a hereafter ; but only 
Christ broke the seal of the grave and revealed 
death as the door to immortality and eternal life. 

If Christ lived after death, so shall men, each 
one taking his place, in the next world, for which 
he is best fitted. Since love is as eternal as life, 
the message of the resurrection is the most com- 
forting, the most glorious message ever given to 
man; for when death takes a loved one from us, 

we can look with assurance into the open grave 
and say, "He is not here; he will rise again." 
(See Matt. 28:6.) 

My dear fellow workers, I know as a divine 
truth that Christ preached to the spirits in prison 
while his body lay in the tomb. It is true! 

". . . the Lord is God, and beside him there is 
no Savior. 

"Great is his wisdom, marvelous are his ways, 
and the extent of his doings none can find out. 

"His purposes fail not, neither are there any 
who can stay his hand. 

"From eternity to eternity he is the same, and 
his years never fail. 

"For thus saith the Lord — I, the Lord, am 
merciful and gracious unto those who fear me, 
and delight to honor those who serve me in 
righteousness and in truth unto the end. 

"Great shall be their reward and eternal shall 
be their glory." (D&C 76:1-6.) O 

An Okinawa Sabbath 
By J. William Perry 

/ ivas awakened this morning 
Here in a remote corner of God's 

It is the Sabbath. 
Raindrops dripping from- eaves 
Echoed through my room, 
And the windows were dull 



An intense feeling crept through 

my being. 
"Your radio — turn it on — 


And then — 

"Music and the Spoken Word 
From the Crossroads of the 


My ears filled, as 

Strains of pipe and voice, 

As choir and organ, 

Poured forth music 

Illuminated by 

The Spirit of the Lord. 

And the spoken word, 

Magnified and enhanced 

By more than the Tabernacle 

Brought forth a simple message 
(Not verbose) 
About respect one to another, 

And the family — 

The very hallmark of His gospel. 

Maybe it was heard by more 

than I, 
By other servicemen; 
Possibly they too sensed, the 

beauty thereof 
And will come to know 
That it was given to us 
As one gleaming pearl, 
A single bead 
From a golden string, 
The glory and extent of which 
Cannot be fully conceived 
By finite mortals. 
Thus came this message. 

Improvement Era 

Almost 100 percent 
of nighttime fatal 

accidents to teenagers 
in St. Louis 

in 1967 involved 

The Era Asks 

President N. Eldon Tanner 
About the Word of Wisdom 

With the deluge of new soul- and mind-destroying drugs, and the modern worldwide barrage of propaganda by alcoholic 
and tobacco interests, few topics are more timely than the Word of Wisdom. President N. Eldon Tanner, second coun- 
selor in the First Presidency, has kept abreast of the many findings involving the Word of Wisdom. Formerly a school 
principal, Minister of Land, Mines, and Forests of the Province of Alberta, Canada, and president of Trans-Canada Pipe 
Lines Limited, President Tanner has enjoyed a career of far-ranging influence. 

Q. How do researchers, educators, and health 
scientists view the influence of alcohol upon society? 

A. Alcohol— in liquors, beers, and all forms— has 
contributed more evil, sadness, and heartache to the 
world than will ever be imagined by our finite minds. 
Even in business, its toll is tremendous. Experts 
claim that more than five workers out of every 100 
are alcoholics, and these include men from the execu- 
tive suite to the assembly line. They cost industry 
four billion dollars a year. One official, Lewis F. 
Presnall, director of the industrial services of the 
National Council on Alcoholism, says alcoholism 
among workers is a "huge problem and extremely 
costly to industry." 

But alcoholism does more than hit industry in the 
pocketbook. It hits every citizen. In 1966 Senator 
Jacob K. Javits of New York introduced the Alcoholism 
Control Act in the U. S. Senate, and reported that 
some 15 percent of all new admissions to public 
non-federal mental hospitals in 1960 were alcoholics. 
It is calculated that over five million persons in the 
United States are alcoholics and that alcohol in- 

directly upsets another 20 million lives— persons such 
as family members, employers, and close associates. 
Two billion dollars each year are spent for the care 
and rehabilitation of alcoholics. Every citizen pays 
in increased taxes the cost of alcoholism. 

Q. Is alcoholism increasing? 

A. Yes, national councils state that alcoholism has 
increased so rapidly that it now ranks fourth in the 
United States as a leading health problem. Only 
mental illness, heart disease, and cancer are more 
common. In our permissive society, the development 
of a state of mind conducive to the use of alcohol 
has been inevitable. 

Q. Do parents need to be more vigilant in this 

A. Very definitely, and especially Latter-day Saint 
parents who have the word of the Lord on this sub- 
ject. Parents need to remember that their children 
associate with friends who are not aware of the 
dangers of alcohol, even with youth who themselves 
may be drinking. Dr. Frederick Hudson, director of 
an alcoholic clinic in San Francisco, claims that 70 

August 1968 

percent of all alcoholics begin drinking as teenagers. 
These youths see the drinking of alcohol as a natural 
way of life among their parents and others. Accord- 
ing to the 1963 White House Conference on Children 
and Youth, most youths who drink get their first 
drink in their own homes from parents who drink 

I would like to refer to a story that I have often 
mentioned about the father who was called to the 
scene of a car accident in which his young daughter 
was killed. The group had been drinking, and the 
father in his anguish exclaimed: "I'll kill the man who 
provided this whiskey!" On returning home he found 
a note in his daughter's own handwriting in his liquor 
cabinet. It read: "Dad, I hope you don't mind our 
taking your whiskey tonight." 

Since youth will not be able to avoid being exposed 
to alcohol, we need to encourage them to teach their 
friends the truth about alcohol. Parents may be in- 
terested to know that a special jury in St. Louis, Mis- 
souri, found that "almost 100 percent of the nighttime 
fatal accidents to teenagers in 1967 involved the use 
of alcohol." In fact, the U. S. Department of Health, 
Education, and Welfare reported in 1967 that 50 
percent of all highway accidents are caused by drink- 
ing. In September 1964, the Medical Tribune reported 
that 68 percent of all highway deaths were caused by 
drinking. We should all be active in the enactment 
and enforcement of laws to protect the public against 
drinking drivers. 

But alcohol's toll does not end on the highway. The 
Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1966 reported that 
almost 50 percent of all those arrested were under 
the influence of alcohol. The Quarterly Journal of 
Studies of Alcohol reported that alcohol was involved 
in 64 percent of homicide cases, 70 percent of physi- 
cal assault crimes, and 50 percent of shootings and 
other assaults. (Vol. 17.) 

It is an established fact that much sex delinquency 
begins when one is under the influence of alcohol. 
Also, alcohol is the cause of more broken homes, frus- 
trated and disappointed children, warped personali- 
ties, and dulling of minds than any other single cause. 
No one needs to question the inspiration of the in- 
struction, "wine or strong drink is not good." (See 
D&C 89:5.) 

Q. Has research confirmed the Church's teach- 
ings against the use of drinks containing caffeine? 

A. Numerous researchers and students are cur- 
rently probing the influence on humans of many so- 
called harmless drugs, such as caffeine. According 
to a German geneticist, Dr. Wolfram Osterag, "coffee, 
tea, and certain soft drinks may not be as innocuous 
as they seem. The caffeine in these drinks and in 
some medicines can cause miscarriages or can be 
passed on to the unborn baby, causing mutations in 
its cells." 

In experiments conducted with human cells, the 
physician found that caffeine causes the chromosomes 
of the cells to break up. Dr. Osterag has said, "The 
possibility exists that caffeine is one of the most 
dangerous mutation-causing agents in man, since it 
is known that caffeine penetrates to the human 
germinal tissue and through the placental barrier to 
the human fetus." 

Q. Are the discoveries about tobacco that made 
so many headlines several years ago fully sub- 

A. Most emphatically. In fact, mounting pressure 
continues to pile up against the use of tobacco. At 
first, isolated studies linked cigarette smoking with an 
increased risk of death from lung cancer. Then in 
1962 the British Royal College of Physicians reported 
that some 500 Britons were dying each week from 
lung cancer and that 80 percent of these deaths were 
caused by cigarettes. 

Improvement Era 

Heavy advertising 
by the tobacco 
industry has attempted 
to offset the truth 
about tobacco. 

Besides being connected with lung cancer and 
pulmonary diseases, tobacco is also associated with 
deaths from peptic ulcers, stroke, and cancer of the 
larynx, mouth, pharynx, esophagus, and bladder, as 
well as other diseases. It is reported that each year 
tobacco is responsible for 11 million cases of chronic 
illness in the United States and 77 million days lost 
from work. 

It is little wonder, then, that the Lord has said, 
"And again, tobacco is not for the body, neither for 
the belly, and is not good for man. . . ," (D&C 89:8.) 

The truth about tobacco is coming more into the 
public consciousness, but heavy advertising by the 
tobacco industry has attempted to offset the truth, 
and even resulted in a 2.9 percent increase in cigarette 
sales last year. 

But if we will continue to teach the facts about 
tobacco and alcohol, most of our people, we hope, 
will make the intelligent decision. According to re- 
search, teenagers are smarter than many adults in 
this respect. A U.S. Public Health Service survey 
reports that teenage smoking has dropped 10 percent 
in the last ten years throughout the United States, 
and that 80 percent of the teens who say they smoke 
also say they plan to quit. 

Q. What are your thoughts concerning the drugs, 
such as LSD, currently in use? 

A. Far too many of our own Latter-day Saints have 
experimented and continue to experiment with LSD 
and other modern drugs. They take drugs in opposi- 
tion to known medical and scientific research, and 
in opposition to sound thinking and moral teachings. 
Many reports of sad experiences with drugs, in which 
individuals involved now regret their actions, have 
come to our attention. 

For example, LSD has been identified as a drug 
that "substitutes instant delirium tremens for the 
slower escapism of the whiskey bottle." It may cause 

the emotionally disturbed to go permanently insane. 
Harvard University has reported: "We now know that 
long-term subtle psychological damage can result 
from LSD. Numerous cases have been reported of 
prolonged psychotic reactions lasting from a few 
months to two years." The university also reports 
that the drug probably structurally damages the 
brain. What sane, intelligent person would want to 
damage his brain permanently? 

Q. How should Latter-day Saints view this ten- 
dency of our modern environment to discover and 
promote the use of these mind- and soul-wasting 
drugs of alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, and LSD? 

A. Despite all that we know about the danger of 
these drugs and their evil and shocking influence, 
many youths— some of them Latter-day Saints— each 
year begin the drinking, smoking, and drug-use ex- 
perience. Parents, teachers, and youth leaders must 
make a renewed attempt to reach all of our youth— 
the religiously active as well as the inactive— con- 
cerning this message, and to encourage our youth 
and adults to be ambassadors in informing their 
associates of the dangers of these drugs. No good 
comes from them as they are currently used in con- 
temporary society— only degeneration of physical and 
mental health. Many films on these topics are avail- 
able from the American Cancer Society, medical 
departments, police departments, health agencies, and 
other governmental agencies. 

All Latter-day Saints should read again that blessed 
revelation in the Doctrine and Covenants concerning 
our latter-day environment, Section 89: 

"Behold, verily, thus saith the Lord unto you: In 
consequence of evils and designs which do and will 
exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days, 
I have warned you, and forewarn you, by giving 
unto you this word of wisdom by revelation— 

"And all saints who remember to keep and do these 

August 1968 

'We have not seen 

the end of such 

new drugs 

nor their 

devastating results." 

sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, 
shall receive health in their navel and marrow to 
their bones; 

"And shall find wisdom and great treasures of 
knowledge, even hidden treasures; 

"And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk 
and not faint. 

"And I, the Lord, give unto them a promise, that 
the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the 
children of Israel, and not slay them. Amen." (D&C 
89:4, 18-21.) 

We have not seen the end of such new drugs nor 
their devastating results. There will be more. And 
there will be continual pressure by the forces con- 
nected with the tobacco and alcohol industries. Yet, 

whatever the pressures, whatever our society may 
offer, Latter-day Saints need not succumb. 

Our bodies are the temples of our personal spirits, 
and they are also the temples of the Spirit of God. 
Truly, the influence of the Spirit finds difficulty in 
penetrating a drug-dulled and drug-warped mind. 
May God bless us to seek after the good things of the 
earth, the good things of life. May all Latter-day 
Saints seek inspiration in their callings and encourage 
people everywhere to experience the full joy of mental, 
spiritual, and physical health that our Father in 
heaven has promised to those who follow his teach- 
ings. And may we all thank him for and determine 
to fully keep the Word of Wisdom. Never before 
has the divinity of its message been more apparent. 

By Heidi Vogt 

What is it— 

That makes the sweetness of life, 
That makes my heart rejoice 
And my breath stand still? 

Is it the laughter of a child, 
Or the sunbeams kissing 
The fragrant roses in the morning. 
Or is it you, or is it God? 

When I look at the rainbow 
And see the colors magnificently 
Joined together, 
Mv heart speaks clearly: 

It's God through whom you are 

It's you, and in your eyes 
I hear the children laughing, 
And with your smile you give me life 
Because you are my love. 

Improvement Era 






By Karl E. Young 

A remarkable yet often overlooked chapter in Church 
history deals with the early Latter-day Saint colonies 
in Mexico. This is the first in a series of fascinating 
glimpses into the flight of the Mormons from Mexico 
in 1912. They are selected chapters from a forth- 
coming book, Ordeal in Mexico, to be published by 
Deseret Book Company. Today, about 60,000 Latter- 
day Saints in three stakes and five missions live in 
Mexico and enjoy the freedoms and opportunities of 
this important American nation. Karl E. Young, the 
author, is a former Rhodes scholar at Oxford Univer- 
sity in England and has taught English at Brigham 
Young University since 1930. 


• "The Mormons were driven from their homes. . . ." 
Thus begins the melancholy narrative, well-known to 
most Latter-day Saints. And most Saints could piece 
out the story, telling how their pioneer ancestors 
crossed the plains, goading their tired oxen or buck- 
ing handcarts with their own weary limbs. They 
would also be able to tell, readily and eagerly, why 
their folks left Nauvoo, toiling across the prairie and 
the mountains in order to find a place where they 
could worship God in their own way and raise their 
families free from the heckling and depredations of 
intolerant mobs. 

No doubt most Mormons could also tell how, with 
minor variations, the tale repeated itself 40 years 
later, when devout believers in the divine law of 
polygamy gave up their homes rather than suffer 
separation, and pioneered a new life in a new country, 
Mexico, where they could live their religion and 
prepare for eternal glory according to the pattern laid 
down by the Prophet Joseph. These zealous souls 
were forced across the border by the pressure of the 
United States marshals who, with the passage of 
the Edmunds-Tucker Act of 1887, galvanized their 
efforts to stamp out the practice of polygamy. 

Parts of this material are reprinted by courtesy of The American West, in which it first appeared. 

But it is doubtful that many Mormons who should 
happen to hear those bleak words about expulsion 
from homes repeated again in a third context would 
know how to complete the story. Some of them might 
be aware that the third exodus in less than 70 years 
was from Mexico. They probably would remember 
having heard such phrases as "the colonies," and "the 
exodus," and "Juarez Academy," but it is extremely 
doubtful that they would know that Juarez Academy 
is not located in Juarez City, across the Rio Grande 
from El Paso. It is most unlikely that they would be 
able to find Colonia Juarez very quickly on a map, 
located as it is in remote western Chihuahua, more 
than 150 miles southwest of El Paso, It is even more 
doubtful that they would know that the Mormons 
founded six colonies in Chihuahua and two in Sonora, 
and that the year in which all of these colonies were 
abandoned was 1912, when the revolution that swept 
Mexico was swirling with special violence on the 
lonely plains of Chihuahua, 

But the ordeal through which the Mormon colonists 
in Mexico passed during that revolution of 1912 was 
of so painful a nature as to stir responses in every 
person, young or old, who looks with sympathy upon 
the human predicament. True, the colonists did not 
have to endure such pain and anguish as did the 
Donner party, stranded in the deep snows on the 
east side of the towering Sierras and reduced to 
the degradation of cannibalism for mere wretched 
survival. But the Chihuahua colonists suffered 
through the grinding misery of history repeating itself 
for a third time as Saints were once again forced 
to abandon their homes and their possessions and flee 
as did their ancestors from Nauvoo, this time back to 
a country on which they had already turned their 
backs as they sought relief from oppression a quarter 
of a century earlier. 

Purpose of this story is to tell of the sufferings 

August 1968 

*«k.^HHIH «. 

Wm.' *^ 






Illustrated by Ted Nagata 

Improvement Era 

With threats and warnings, 
Caveda and 50 men 
blustered into town. 


md hardships that attended that flight from Mexico. 
The impact of those harrowing experiences cannot 
be sensed adequately unless a reader is allowed 
to see the details and to participate in the events 
themselves. In order to achieve this effect, the writer 
has attempted to choose accounts that are most rep- 
resentative of the experiences of the Mexican colonists 
as a whole. And in order to capture the sense of 
immediacy, which alone can recreate the sensations 
of participation, he has focused the narrative lens on 
individuals and held the microphone close to the lips 
of the most articulate. 

Nevertheless, before we isolate the individual, we 
must see him in his group. We shall therefore take a 
rapid survey of the events in the background of all 
Mormon colonists in Mexico. In order to understand 
the pains of relinquishment, we have to know what 
it was that the colonists were obliged to abandon. 

It should be recognized first of all that the move to 
Mexico was not merely a private and personal affair. 
The Church authorities advised polygamists to go to 
this new country and actively supported their emigra- 
tion. High officials were sent from Church head- 
quarters in Salt Lake City to precede the colonists 
into Mexico and look for areas where colonies might 
be established. These men were instructed to help 
the emigrants to organize colonization companies in 
order to purchase tracts of land and lay out town- 
sites. The whole endeavor had the blessing of the 

After months of frustrating efforts to find land with 
clear titles that could be purchased, the agents for the 
colonists finally bought 50,000 acres on the Piedras 
Verdes River and 60,000 acres in Diaz and Corrales. 
Then the immigrants, who had been making shift in 
tents and wagonboxes, moved onto the land. It had 
taken almost a full year to locate the sites for their 
settlements. But now they eagerly set to work. At 
Colonia Juarez, for example, they constructed dugouts 
along the river bank for temporary shelters, laid out 
a townsite, set up poles with woven willows and 
chinked mud for a meetinghouse and school building, 
and dug a canal for irrigation water for their land. 

Their pleasure in accomplishment suffered a severe 
blow when they discovered that a mistake had oc- 

curred in the survey of their boundary line and that 
all of their improvements had been made on the 
property of the San Diego ranch. With heavy hearts 
they moved from the smooth, flat land they had been 
occupying, with its deep soil, so easy to till and irri- 
gate, up to the mouth of the canyon, where the land 
sloped off over uneven, gravelly benches down to 
the river. This stream ran through the middle of the 
purchase, presenting a formidable barrier to the 
establishment of a unified and well-planned townsite. 
Once again the settlers laid out a town and fields 
and dug another canal around a rocky hillside to lead 
water to their unpromising acres. Even the repeated 
shocks of an earthquake, which tumbled their new- 
laid chimneys, failed to daunt them. And when they 
realized that the heaving of the earth had opened up 
seams along the riverbed and increased the flow of 
water, these devout souls were sure that the Lord 
would take care of them. The later discovery that 
their rough and rocky bench lands were ideally suited 
to the raising of apples such as were unmatched by 
any others grown in all of Mexico only convinced 
them more profoundly that they were indeed the 
children of God. 

Their town was named Colonia Juarez, after the 
great Mexican libertarian; and as other colonies were 
established, they were given names honoring other 
Mexicans, such as Diaz, Dublan, and Garcia. Within 
a few years six colonies were flourishing in the state 
of Chihuahua, three down on the plateau— Colonia 
Juarez, Colonia Dublan, and Colonia Diaz, and three 
in the Sierra Tarahumare Mountains— Pacheco, Garcia, 
and Chuichupa. Two colonies also sprang up in the 
state of Sonora: Colonia Oaxaca and Colonia Morelos. 
Other smaller settlements were established here and 
there, but these were hardly large enough to be recog- 
nized as towns. 

In order to understand more clearly the action in 
the detailed accounts that follow, the reader should be 
informed of the location of the colonies with relation 
to each other and to the United States border. He 
might, therefore, look upon the Chihuahua colonies 
as lying like beads loosely strung on a thread that 
had been flung carelessly from the New Mexican 
border town of Columbus down south to the Sierra 
Tarahumare Mountains. Colonia Diaz would be the 
first bead on the strand, lying near the Mexican 
pueblo of La Ascension, some fifty or sixty miles south 
of the border. The second bead would be Colonia 
Dublan, a good sixty miles further south and two or 
three miles north of the railroad station Nuevo Casas 
Grandes. Dublan was and still is the only Mormon 
town on the railroad. The thread would then twist 
southwesterly, through the old Mexican town of Casas 

August 1968 


Grarides about four miles away from the new town, 
and then on for 13 miles to Colonia Juarez, the central 
gem on the strand, which lay adorning the slender 
stream of the Piedras Verdes River. Thirty-five miles 
farther south and west, in the mountain valleys, one 
would find the other beads, first Colonia Pacheco, 
then eight miles farther on, Colonia Garcia, and 
finally, Chuichupa, 25 miles beyond. One settlement, 
however, could not be considered a bead on the 
strand. This was Pearson, a lumber town, which 
had been established by an English financier. It 
straddled the railroad at the foot of the mountains 
about eight or ten miles south of Colonia Juarez. 

All of these Chihuahua towns lay on the east 
side of the Continental Divide, though the mountain 
settlements were not distant from the western slopes 
of the Sierra Tarahumares and the state of Sonora. 
The two Sonora colonies, Morelos and Oaxaca, would 
represent loose beads. They were balanced pre- 
cariously on the banks of the treacherous Bavispe 
River, many arduous miles of travel over the Conti- 
nental Divide from the other Mexican colonies and 
also far away from the Arizona towns across the bor- 
der, Douglas and Bisbee. 

The Mormon settlements stretched deep enough 
into Mexico to allay most suspicions among natives 
that here was another group of Yanqui settlers who, 
like the Texans, would one day be attempting to 
split off another big chunk of Mexican territory in 
favor of absorption into the United States. Yet the 
towns were still close enough to the border to preserve 
commercial ties with houses in the United States 
rather than doing all of their business with merchants 
in the distant cities of Mexico. This physical situa- 
tion magnified the importance of the Mormon colonies 
far beyond what their humble populations would 
normally have commanded, for the most productive 
towns, especially Colonia Juarez and Colonia Dublan, 
became the supply centers— willing or unwilling— 
for various troops of revolutionary and counter- 
revolutionary soldiers, as well as for numerous 
knots of bandits. 

The growth of the Mormon colonies during the 
25 years preceding the Mexican revolution of 1910-20 
was, by Mexican standards, phenomenal. Not only 
did the Saints manufacture many items in general 
demand by their own people, such as shoes, harnesses, 
saddles, and various kinds of furniture, but they also 
ground much more than enough flour for themselves 
and cut vast quantities of good lumber for export to 
El Paso as well as for use in the mining and building 
industries of Chihuahua and Sonora. They had 
erected fine homes, putting on the Chihuahua plateau 
the old-fashioned Mormon stamp of tall, red brick 

They had created an economy 

in this adobe land 

that far exceeded anything 

immediately north 

of the border. 

houses, picket fences, broad lawns, and flower beds. 
Their businesses and factories were thriving, their 
sawmills ran full time, and their orchards produced the 
best apples in the nation. Cattle and horses multi- 
plied on the long grass of their upper valleys. Under 
the approving eye of President Diaz, they were pros- 
pering in almost every way. They had created an 
economy in this adobe land that was not merely 
reminiscent of the one they had left behind in Utah 
or Arizona, but that far exceeded in growth and value 
anything immediately north of the border, with the 
exception of El Paso. Such towns in the United States 
as Douglas and Columbus were mere villages by 

But times had not always been so good to the 
colonists. In 1910 they could sit back in their rocking 
chairs at night before the red coals of oak wood in 
the fireplace and reminisce about the hard times of 
two decades ago. Life was easier now. It was good 
to have the tough part over. The colonists had ad- 
justed well to their new environment, and life was 
full of promise. The mutterings of social unrest 
beyond the horizon were not loud enough to disturb 
peaceful nightly slumber. Little did they know what 
awaited them. 


The revolution, which had its genesis with Fran- 
cisco Madero, was slow in getting underway. But 
by the end of 1910 Mormon colonists in the Chihua- 
hua settlements were beginning to feel the effects 
of what they had at first regarded as merely an 
"insurrection." Bridges had been burned on the rail- 
way that linked them with El Paso, temporarily iso- 
lating them, and J. J. Walser recorded in his journal 
that the colony of Dublan had to be guarded every 
night to prevent revolutionist stragglers from com- 
mitting depredations. The comment carries the 
implication of a tendency that gradually developed 
into harsh and bitter realities as winter advanced. 

Nelle S. Hatch records how the situation worsened 
as the revolution began to envelop her home town of 
Colonia Juarez: 

"First there was a restlessness among the natives 


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August 1968 


which found vent in a sudden disrespect for law. This 
attitude was at first felt rather than seen. Submission 
to law enforcement became tinged with resentment 
against those who enforced it, a challenge of authority. 
This grew into overt acts of insolence, open derision 
and finally into petty thievery. Bands of revolutionists 
coming into town to request help from businesses 
able to supply revolutionary needs increased this 
tendency to licensed robbery. Polite requests for 
horses, saddles, etc., from the Tanning and Manu- 
facturing Company, sacks of flour and grain from 
Skousen's Mill, and merchandise from the Colonial 
Mercantile, turned into firm demands. Owners of 
these properties were forced to comply and to accept 
in payment only promises or written agreements that 
both parties knew could not or would not be kept." 

In 1911 Madero made a bold attempt to get the 
revolution moving by attacking Casas Grandes, which 
was near Colonia Juarez and next-door to Colonia 
Dublan. His forces won the battle but were then 
immediately overthrown by federal reinforcements, 
who arrived at the crucial moment to rout the rebel 
army. Notwithstanding the defeat, the rebel cause 
flared into life in many parts of the country. Madero's 
courage had strongly appealed to the imagination, 
and supporters now began to recognize his qualities 
as a leader and to respond to them. Not long thereafter 
Casas Grandes fell into rebel hands again. 

Meanwhile, at the two nearby Mormon colonies, 
rebel factions preyed upon the settlements with little 
regard for the feeble efforts at control exerted by 
Inez Salazar, who had taken over command at Casas 
Grandes. A Mormon attempt to capture and bring 
a thief to punishment in Colonia Juarez resulted in 
the killing of Juan Sosa. And the incident almost 
ignited a local war against the hated gringo. The 
seriousness of the situation can be deduced from the 
fact that a trial in the courtroom was disrupted and 
four Mormon principals were taken to Nuevo Casas 
Grandes, where they were rescued at the last moment 
from an angry mob by Pascual Orozco and Raul 
Madero. Raul was the future president's brother, and 
Orozco was for a time the top figure among revolu- 
tionary fighting men. No lesser persons could have 
saved the colonists. 

However, as soon as these prominent leaders moved 
on, local rebel bosses renewed their attempts to pun- 
ish the four Mormons. But first they had to find them, 
for the Mormons hid out until another, graver crisis 
obscured their own particular troubles. As Madero 
went on to Mexico City, Orozco was left behind, and 
he soon defected to lead a rebellion of his own. His 
rebellion came into the open in February 1912, and 
for several weeks his colorados, or "Red Flaggers," 

Raul Madero, the 

future president's brother, 

helped rescue 

four Latter-day Saints 

from an angry mob. 

controlled much of Chihuahua. Pancho Villa, how- 
ever, had remained faithful to Madero. And now the 
Mormon colonists saw Villista and Red Flagger bands 
chase each other into the hills as skirmishes brushed 
their towns. Both factions depended upon the indus- 
trious colonists to replenish their spent supplies, and 
both demanded guns, horses, saddles, and money in a 
never-ending series of raids and intimidating visits. 

Worried and frightened, the colonists kept appeal- 
ing to Salazar, who had gone over to the cause of the 
Liberales, as Orozco called his Red Flaggers, to pro- 
tect them from rebel depredations. But Salazar 
either did not want to protect them or was not able 
to. Consequently, the colonists, forced to take some 
kind of measures to save themselves, smuggled in two 
or three dozen high-powered rifles and ammunition 
with which to defend themselves if it came to the 
worst. Yet their first attempt to bring in weapons 
illegally not only miscarried but was also publicized. 
The second, therefore, could hardly be achieved with- 
out detection. In any case, Salazar was soon demanding 
a count of guns, and shortly afterward, when the threat 
of federal attack was imminent, he ordered the de- 
livery of all of the guns the colonists owned. 

Junius Romney, the highest Church official among 
the Saints in Mexico, refused to order his people 
to give up their guns, whereupon Salazar declared 
Romney to be his prisoner until he submitted to the 
demand. Hot words were exchanged, • but when 
Salazar threatened to send Lino Ponce with a big 
squad of men to search Mormon homes and seize all 
guns, Romney, fearing for the safety of his people, 
temporized. He would request his men to deliver 
their guns to a central location if Salazar would 
guarantee safe passage for the women and children 
from the colonies on the trains out to El Paso. Six 
cannons in place on flat cars at Colonia Dublan with 
barrels pointing toward the town and the threat that 
the Saints would be treated as if they were a 
federal army, subject to attack in the same way, 
convinced the Mormon leader that he would have 
to yield. 

Salazar was without doubt badly in need of guns 
and ammunition. Ever since March 14, 1912, an 
embargo on the export of arms from the United 


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States to Mexico had been in force. In late May, 
Huerta had smashed Orozco's troops at the second 
battle of Telleno, and now, with General Jose de la 
Luz Blanco threatening to come in on Casas Grandes 
from Sonora on the west and General Sanjines bear- 
ing down from the south, Salazar feared that he would 
be caught in a pincers movement from which there 
would be no escape. In desperation he had to have 
whatever arms were present in the nearby country, 
and he would take them by force, if necessary. 

President Romney's decision to send out the women 
and children came so suddenly that no one had time 
for adequate preparation. Some families from Dublan 
left town on the same day, July 25, 1912, fleeing 
precipitously from threatened danger. Yet there were 
many, especially in Colonia Juarez and the mountain 
colonies, who felt that an exodus was wrong and that 
they could continue to live in peace in their homes if 
they would pursue a course of undeviating neutrality. 

Among these was Bishop Bentley, but his behavior 
was characteristic of devout Mormons everywhere. In 
response to President Romney's call, he said, "If our 
stake president's advice is to move women and children 
to a place of safety, mine will go right along with the 
others, and I'll instruct my ward members to do the 
same. No matter what private opinions I may main- 
tain, I know that safety lies in obeying the priesthood, 
and I am always subject to its direction." 

With similar regard for authority, almost all Mor- 
mon families hastened to make ready for the move at 
once. Very little could be taken with them. Conse- 
quently, clothes were left hanging in the wardrobes, 
sheets and bedding remained in the drawers, dishes 
on the shelves, pictures on the walls, and food in the 
cellars and pantry bins. Many of the colonists ex- 
pected to come back within a few days. As soon as 
the federal troops arrived, the revolution would be 
quelled, and they could settle down to normal living 
once again. 

It did not turn out that way. At the very outset 
one family was robbed by bandits as they drove in 
wagons over to the railroad station ten miles av/ay. 
Then all of the women and children, as well as the 
very elderly, were crowded into cars for the ride 
through the July heat across the desert to El Paso. 
They were disembarked beneath the sheds of an 
abandoned lumberyard on the banks of the Rio Grande 
without funds, without privacy, without husbands and 
fathers or any plans for the future. Some of them did 
go back to Mexico after a few weeks, but they fled 
again as trouble flared up once more. Many of them 
never saw their Mexican homes again. 

The husbands and fathers, who had stayed at home 
to look after their property, were themselves called 

out by President Romney within ten days after the 
women and children had gone. As rebel looting and 
thievery continued at Dublan, the chances seemed 
to multiply that some colonists would reach a point 
beyond which they would stand for no more abuse and 
would retaliate with arms. Then on August 1 the rebel 
Captain Caveda blustered into town at the head of 
50 men, and with threats he warned the men in 
Colonia Juarez that he would not stand for the killing 
of any more of his men. This was, no doubt, a refer- 
ence to the execution of a soldier who had been shot 
for robbing colonists as they moved the women and 
children out a few days before. It mattered little 
that other rebel officers had ordered the execution. 
Mormon leaders were blamed as the "finger men." 

It looked as if Caveda was spoiling for a fight, a 
situation that President Romney was most loathe to 
see develop. Fearing that blood would be shed, he 
called a meeting in which it was decided to leave 
Colonia Juarez for a while rather than face the possi- 
bility of violence. 

Runners were sent to alert the Mormons on both 
sides of the river and tell them where to meet. But 
when the appointed time came, through some mis- 
understanding they failed to get together as they 
had expected. Some of the men did not even get 
out of the town, while President Romney and others 
went as far into the mountains as MacDonald Springs. 
From this point he sent word calling for all colonists 
to meet at the "stairs," a well-known point in the 
mountains. Riders were dispatched to Garcia, 
Pacheco, and Chuichupa, as well as to Colonia Du- 
blan, with the summons. 

President Romney waited for the men from the 
mountain colonies to arrive, but at last, growing im- 
patient, he called the camp to assemble for a meeting 
and told them that stake and ward authorities had 
been discussing the question of abandoning the 
colonies and going out to the border to join their 
families or remaining to brave it out in Mexico. He 
then asked all who wished to express their opinions 
on the matter to speak up. A few responded briefly, 
but soon a vote was taken in which an almost unani- 
mous choice was expressed for exodus to the United 

One of the men present at the meeting, J. H. 
Martineau, who later wrote a voluminous history of 
the colonies in Mexico that has not yet been pub- 
lished, observed that the result of the vote surprised 
almost everybody: "The general attitude of the 
colonists except some from Dublan, where the 
depredations had been severe, was in favor of remain- 
ing in the hills a few days or even weeks until the 
arrival of Generals Blanco and Sanjines, but somehow 



Improvement Era 



we had voted contrary to our intentions." ' 

Now the die was cast, and President Romney sent 
word to the still-absent members that the main body 
would move on toward the border unless the men 
from the mountain colonies came in at once. This 
decision was shocking to Bishop Bentley and Alonzo 
Taylor, who had seen the rebel forces pull out of 
Colonia Juarez even before they left town. With 
the urgent need for flight gone, these two could not 
understand abandonment of their homes for the un- 
certainty of existence across the border, where none 
of the basic securities of life were visible. No houses, 
no food, no jobs— nothing beyond the bare necessities 
that charitable townspeople in El Paso and a con- 
cerned federal government would give them as objects 
of charity. 

Yet go out they did. Bishop Bentley was true to 
his upbringing. When his superior officer in the 
priesthood uttered a call, he responded loyally. The 
whole band of approximately 250 men moved like a 
military unit to the border, keeping scouts before 
them and a rear guard behind, and organizing them- 
selves into small groups with leaders and men in 
clearly recognized chains of command. But once 
they had reached the border and met with Elder 
Anthony W. Ivins, one of the Council of the Twelve 
from Salt Lake City, the matter was talked out, and 
those who had felt that they might have done better 
to remain in Mexico were given leave without preju- 
dice to return to the colonies and take up life again 
on their own. By September 1, Joseph C. Bentley 

Illustrated by Olinda Hoehne 

and about 35 other men, women, and children were 
again in Colonia Juarez, harvesting crops, canning 
fruit, and trying to make up for the time they had 

All this will serve as an overview of the troubles 
through which the colonists struggled during the 
summer of 1912. In what follows, however, the 
camera lens zooms in on a few key figures, whose 
participation in the events of that summer should 
give a sharper picture of the nature of the ordeal 
through which the colonists passed. One of the most 
robust and articulate characters among the Mormons 
in Chihuahua was Dave Brown, an almost legendary 
figure who has survived and lives on in our own 
effete age. His voice still booms as he recounts the 
painful nature of the exodus of the women and 
children from their homes in the land where they 
had found refuge from the United States marshals. 

The flight of the women and children was without 
doubt the most traumatic experience suffered by the 
Mormons as a group during the revolution in Mexico. 
The exodus of the men, approximately one week 
later, was by comparison an anticlimax, although in 
many respects it was the more significant move, since 
it marked for many families the termination of their 
existence in Mexico. But how the women and children 
got along is the business of the next installment. O 
(To be continued) 

August 1968 



9€ #g» 

Illustration by Dale Kilbourn 

Beginning- a new series on theThreeWitnesses 




By Dr. Richard Lloyd Anderson 

• Oliver Cowdery played an extraordinary role in the 
beginning of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day 
Saints. His title of "second elder" was appropriate, 
as an examination of incidents in which he was promi- 
nent indicates: the translation of the Book of Mor- 
mon, restoration of the Aaronic and Melchizedek 
priesthoods, printing of the Book of Mormon, the 
conversion of Sidney Rigdon, and the vision of the 
Christ and the Old Testament prophets in the Kirtland 
Temple. Since he was announced as the sole com- 
panion of Joseph Smith in the foundation experiences, 
no one else stood in the unique position of being able 
to expose Joseph Smith at all critical points, if he 
could be exposed. Because whatever Oliver Cowdery 
reported about the earliest events of Mormonism is 
of the greatest significance, it is most important to 
study the kind of man he was and assess his reliability. 
Oliver Cowdery was respected by associates 
wherever he lived. The pinnacle of his Latter-day 
Saint career was in Kirtland in 1836, when he was a 
trusted "assistant president" to Joseph Smith and was 
involved on many practical fronts of the expanding 
LDS movement. 1 In that year he reassumed the editor- 
ship of the Church newspaper, arid his brother-in-law 
eharacterized him publicly as "a man of piety, of 
candor, of truth, of integrity, of feeling for the welfare 
of the human family, and in short, he is a man of 
God." la Except for the religious connotations of such 
an evaluation, there is no reason to think that the 
non-Mormon community of the Kirtland region felt 

After the Mormons left northern Ohio, it was 
fashionable to portray them as less than respectable, 
but Cowdery is conspicuous by his absence in such 
negativism. The most specific recollection of a non- 

improvement Era 

Mormon is by Samuel Murdock. Toward the end 
of a distinguished career as attorney in Clayton 
County, Iowa, he recalled his youth in the Lake 
County, Ohio, area at the time of the Mormon settle- 
ment there. His family arrived in Ohio in 1827, and 
Murdock evidently participated in the educational 
program that was sponsored by the Latter-day Saints 
during the years 1835 through 1837. Journals of many 
early Mormons mention Sidney Rigdon and on occa- 
sion Joseph Smith as teachers. Although no journal 
yet found mentions Oliver Cowdery as a regular in- 
structor, he was a trustee of the school as a member 
of the First Presidency of the Church, and it is known 
that the trustees considered instruction under their 
"immediate care and inspection."- As a young man 
Samuel Murdock had the following contact with 
Oliver Cowdery: 

"Kirtland is situated in the county in which I was 
raised from youth to manhood, and at the time Smith 
and his Mormons settled there I was nearly a man 
grown, and some of them were my immediate neigh- 
bors, with whose children I was often schoolmates, 
and I often met their prophet, Joseph Smith, although 
I was not personally acquainted with him. I was, 
however, intimately acquainted with Mr. Cowdery, 
one of his scribes, and to whom I was indebted for 
his special kindness to me, as well as for the many 
lessons of instruction I received from him as my 
preceptor in the school room, and a Mormon as he 
was, shall ever cherish his memory. A more amiable, 
generous, kindhearted man, I have not met since."' 

Although Cowdery was prominent in Ohio, the 
history of Mormonism in Missouri is written with 
his name largely in footnotes. Personally hurt in his 
relationship with Joseph Smith, he allied himself with 
his Whitmer relatives in differences concerning 
Church administration in Caldwell County, Missouri. 
lie left Far West prior to mob violence and by the 
end of that year found his way back to Kirtland. 
In the decade between his excommunication from 
the Church in 1838 and his return in 1848, his 
name is absent from Mormon annals. 

But no one can make an intelligent appraisal of 
Cowdery as a person without knowing a good deal 
about his non-Mormon career. By failing to conform 
to Church discipline, he forfeited his title of "second 
elder" and exchanged it for "Oliver Cowdery, 
Esquire," the traditional designation of an attorney- 
at-law. Without companionship of his church asso- 
ciates, he nevertheless belonged to the fraternity of 
fellow attorneys, who admired him as a legal crafts- 
man. During his non-Mormon decade, he was also a 
politician, journalist, promoter of education, and civic 
servant. The opinions of his friends of this period 

show clearly that he was widely respected as a man 
of more than ordinary stature. 

By the time of his excommunication on April 12, 
1838, Oliver Cowdery had formulated definite plans 
for the practice of law. The only question was where. 
He exchanged much correspondence with his brothers 
in Kirtland in hopes of settling in the same vicinity, 
and one letter states his ideal of professional com- 

"I take no satisfaction in thinking of practicing law 
with a half dozen books. Let us get where people 
live, with a splendid library, attend strictly to our 
books and practice, and I have no fear if life and 
health are spared, but we can do as well as, at least, 
the middle class." 1 

After experimenting with living in Missouri, he 
decided to move back to Kirtland, where his brothers 
Warren and Lyman were beginning their careers in 
the field of law. This move to Kirtland took place 
at the end of 1838, and by January 1840 it is clear 
that Oliver Cowdery was practicing law. 5 The year 
1839 was undoubtedly devoted to study for his ad- 
mission to the bar," but there were other activities. 
His biography in the family history was compiled 
with access to information from his widow, Elizabeth 
Whitmer Cowdery, who lived until 1892, and it says 
that he "supported himself by teaching school while 
pursuing his study of the law." 7 If this phrasing is 
strictly correct, then Cowdery taught during his non- 
Mormon stay in Kirtland. Perhaps this is why he 
appears as secretaiy of one of the organizational 
meetings of the Western Reserve Teacher's Seminary 
and Kirtland Institute, which utilized the Kirtland 
Temple in the period that he was there. s 

Be that as it may, Cowdery was active in the 
Democratic Party during his Kirtland stay. In 1839 he 
was chosen as one of the 13 delegates from Geauga 
county to the bi-county senatorial convention. 9 The 
upset victory there for Benjamin Bissell is most inter- 
esting, 1 " since, as Joseph Smith's attorney at Kirt- 
land, Bissell was well-acquainted with Mormon 

For over a decade, 

Dr. Richard Lloyd Anderson, 

professor of history and 

religion at Brigham Young 

University, has researched 

new information dealing 

with the witnesses of 

the Book of Mormon. His 

interesting and stimulating 

findings will be presented 

to Era readers 

in the months ahead. 

August 196S 


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leaders. He is .spoken of as Cowdery's patron in 
introducing him to law, and consequently he was 
the likely source of Cowdery's recommendation to 
the Democratic leaders in Tiffin, Ohio, where Cow- 
dery next moved. 

The spirited presidential campaign of 1840 necessi- 
tated a Democratic paper in Seneca County, Ohio, 
and both a press and an editor were imported. Cow- 
dery was chosen for that job, obviously on the basis 
of recommendations of prominent Democrats of his 
Cleveland-Kirtland region, some 125 miles northeast. 
A prominent Tiffin politician later said of the found- 
ing of that campaign paper: "Oliver Cowdery was 
to have been editor, but was dropped on the discovery 
that he was one of the seven founders of Mormon- 
ism." 11 If the arithmetic of the six organizers or the 
11 witnesses is garbled, the recollection is clear that 
a Book of Mormon witness was no political asset and 
could not be tolerated in a local party post. The 
fact that Oliver Cowdery nevertheless remained in 
Tiffin for seven, years and earned the respect of a 
biased community says a good deal for his personal 
capacities and character. Before leaving he was ap- 
pointed temporary editor of the Democratic weekly 
and was publicly thanked in its columns for his 
"ability" as shown in "the management of our paper." 1 - 

While the above incident illustrates Cowdery's 
lifelong talent as a writer, it was through his pro- 
fession as a lawyer and his public activities that he 
was chiefly known while in Tiffin from 1840 to 1847. 
The courthouse today holds files of legal pleadings 
signed "O. Cowdery"; the two local newspapers of 
the period contain both his lawyer's advertisements 
and the notices of his cases requiring publication. 
More significantly, two colleagues of that period are 
on record with their estimate of the man and his 
legal talent. 

William Lang had the greater personal contact with 
Cowdery, because he apprenticed in his office for the 
period of one and a half years. Lang was a self- 
reliant man of 25 at the beginning of his period of 
reading law in the Cowdery office, and the senior 
attorney created a powerful impression upon his stu- 
dent. This relationship with Cowdery terminated in 
1842 upon Lang's own entrance to the bar, but he 
associated with Cowdery for another five years, both 
as a member of the Seneca County Bar and in the 
inner circles of the county Democratic organization. 
Lang's lifetime legal career was supplemented with 
public service as prosecuting attorney, probate judge, 
mayor of Tiffin, county treasurer, and two terms in 
the Ohio senate. He was nominated by his party for 
major state offices twice. In later life he wrote a 
History of Seneca County, in which he expressed 

unlimited admiration for the "noble and true man- 
hood" of Oliver Cowdery. He there describes Cow- 
dery personally and professionally: 

"Mr. Cowdery was an able lawyer and a great 
advocate. His manners were easy and gentlemanly; 
he was polite, dignified, yet courteous. He had an 
open countenance, high forehead, dark brown eye, 
Roman nose, clenched lips and prominent lower jaw. 
He shaved smooth and was neat and cleanly in his 
person. He was of light stature, about five feet, five 
inches high, and had a loose, easy walk. With all his 
kind and friendly disposition, there was a certain 
degree of sadness that seemed to pervade his whole 
being. His association with others was marked by 
the great amount of information his conversation 
conveyed and the beauty of his musical voice. His 
addresses to the court and jury were characterized by 
a high order of oratory, with brilliant and forensic 
force. He was modest and reserved, never spoke ill 
of any one, never complained." 1 ' 1 

The other Tiffin attorney who left written recollec- 
tions of Cowdery was William Harvey Gibson. It is 
an adequate introduction to him to note that a statue 
in his honor stands in front of the courthouse. He 
won considerable fame as a civil war general, but 
the statue commemorates his more famous achieve- 
ment as an orator and nationally known campaign 
speaker in the late nineteenth century. Although 
Gibson was involved in a state scandal and resigned 
his elective office of treasurer of Ohio in 1857, no 
doubt remains that he won back a creditable reputa- 
tion as Tiffin's most famous citizen. An active lawyer 
from 1845 to 1872 and a seasoned businessman after- 
ward, he evaluated Cowdery from the vantage point 
of a fellow attorney and political opponent. In a 
letter designed for publication in 1892, Gibson said, 
"Cowdery was an able lawyer and [an] agreeable, 
irreproachable gentleman." 1 ' 

Of Cowdery's considerable public service in his 
Tiffin career, most consistent and significant is his 
service as a member of the Board of School Examiners 
of Seneca County. Both William Lang and William 
H. Gibson's wife remembered his questioning them 
for certification to teach. Another individual of some 
ability attended one of these public examinations 
that Cowdery and two other trustees administered 
and reported, "I must acknowledge myself not a little 
instructed, though but a spectator." 15 The court files 
also reveal that Cowdery was prominent in testing 
candidates for admission to the bar, so it is clear 
that he displayed lifelong interest and ability as an 

Several remarkable estimates of Cowdery as a 
person stem from his political activities in two states 


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while out of the Church. In Tiffin, Ohio, he was 
regularly before the public as an active party worker, 
public speaker, and occasional candidate for civil 
office. In 1842, 1844, and 1845, he was elected by the 
party township meeting as delegate to the Democratic 
county convention. In all these years he was named 
on the resolutions committee at the county convention 
because of his characteristic role as an articulate party 
spokesman. He was regularly sent to political rallies 
as a persuasive stump speaker. In 1845 he was elected 
as one of three township trustees, defeating his 
nearest opponent by a 26 percent vote margin. 1 ' ; 
In his last year of political activity in Tiffin, 1846, 
Cowdery was promoted for the office of state senator 
at a tri-county convention by a dozen delegates who 
were loyal to him through two ballots. 17 At an early 
point of his stay in Tiffin, Cowdery had written 
Brigham Young that he labored to produce "a fair 
reputation and a fair business," 1 " and his solid political 
career in Seneca County shows the continued truth 
of that statement. 

The year that the Latter-day Saints migrated west, 
Cowdery moved also, mainly for reasons of health 
(perhaps tuberculosis). He located at Elkhorn, Wis- 
consin, where he was attracted by the personal 
association and established law practice of his brother 
Lyman. It is characteristic that his first known letter 
from Wisconsin is from the state capital, where he 
initiated contact with a chief justice and a key 
Democratic editor. 111 

His career had three phases in the year spent in 
Wisconsin prior to his returning to the Church. First 
of all, he continued his profession as a lawyer. The 
minutes of the Walworth County commission reveal 
that he was granted an office in the courthouse 
October 3, 1847;, the two known surviving issues of 
Elkhorn papers for that period contain his law adver- 
tisement: "O. Cowdery, Attorney & Counsellor at 
Law"; and court records include a number of his 
cases. Second, for a few months prior to rejoining 
the Church he was co-editor of the Walworth County 
Democrat.' 1 " A neighboring party newspaper acknow- 
ledged his appointment by observing, "Mr. Cowdery 
is highly spoken of as an editor."-' 

The third activity, politics, provides the most im- 
pressive evidence of what associates thought of Oliver 
Cowdery while away from the Church. With less 
than a year of residence in Elkhorn, he was nomi- 
nated as state assemblyman in the first voting under 
the state constitution of Wisconsin. This election in 
the spring of 1848 was characterized by the pre- 
dictable campaign smears for which Cowdery's 
Mormon background left him vulnerable. 

With no copies of local newspapers of that period 

still available, the political infighting must be re- 
constructed from borrowed articles. The Whig paper 
of Cowdery's district first noted that Democrats had 
nominated "one of the three witnesses to the discovery 
of the Golden Plates, or Mormon Bible, by Joe 
Smith."-- It next ran liberal extracts from the Book 
of Mormon, undoubtedly including the testimony of 
the three witnesses, which were the basis of personal 
sarcasm against Cowdery not only in the Elkhorn 
Western Star, but elsewhere.'- :; Since the campaign 
was short, the timing of the vicious personal attack 
on Cowdery resulted in much of his defense reaching 
print after the election. He was defeated, but by only 
40 votes out of about 500 total votes cast, which 
under the circumstances was both a moral victory 
and a vindication of the man. 

Considering the unpopularity of Mormonism, 
Cowdery's Democratic associates might have chosen 
to respond to attacks on him with silence or even a 
disavowal of their candidate. Yet Horace A. Tenney, 
then editor of the important Wisconsin Argus in 
Madison and later a man of respectable public service 
to his state, deplored the defeat of "a man of sterling 
integrity, sound and vigorous intellect, and every way 
worthy, honest and capable." 21 Tenney had conversed 
with Cowdery personally, as well as corresponded 
with him, so his opinion is a matter of more than 
casual impression. 

The most significant defense of Oliver Cowdery, 
however, came from John Breslin, his close associate 
in Tiffin, Ohio. Breslin had assumed the editorial 
post initially offered to Cowdery and had constantly 
promoted and defended him in the Seneca Advertiser. 
A brilliant young man in Ohio politics, Breslin was 
elected in 1848 to the Ohio House of Representatives, 
where he was chosen speaker. He subsequently was 
reelected as representative and later elected state 
treasurer. While in that office he made private 
investments of state funds (an action somewhat 
condoned by contemporary practice), but he was 
ruined politically in 1857 when the money invested 
was uncollectable.- n But the personal mistake of 
Breslin is quite irrelevant to his judgment on Cow- 
dery prior to this scandal, especially since Breslin's 
open approval of Cowdery points to considerable 
public opinion in agreement with him. Immediately 
upon hearing that Cowdery's Mormonism was the 
basis of personal attacks upon him in Wisconsin, 
Breslin published an article deploring the "baseness 
of such a course" of attack; and in another article, 
entitled "Oliver Cowdery, Esq.," he insisted on the 
capability and integrity of his friend: 

"Mr. C. was a resident among us for a period of 
seven years, during which time he earned himself an 


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enviable distinction at the Bar of this place and of 
this Judicial circuit, as a sound and able lawyer, and 
as a citizen none could have been more esteemed. 
His honesty, integrity, and industry were worthy the 
imitation of all, whilst his unquestioned legal abilities 
reflected credit as well upon himself as upon the 
profession of which he was a member."- 

Although Cowdery had initially planned to come 
back to the Church at the April conference of 1848, 
his Wisconsin nomination obviously altered this deci- 
sion and postponed the return to late October, when 
he arrived at Kanesville, Iowa, the "eastern" head- 
quarters of the Church. Migration to Utah that 
fall was out of the question, so economic reality 
dictated his wintering with Elizabeth Whitmer Cow- 
dery 's relatives some 250 miles southeast, in Rich- 
mond, Missouri. Since his chronic lung condition 
left him too weak to cross the plains and had reduced 
his finances, he was forced to continue his stay in 
Richmond for the year 1849. Research has so far 
failed to find evidence that he practiced law there. 
As a matter of fact, for a considerable portion of that 
year he was bedridden, and in early spring of 1850, 
his weakened physical condition brought his death 
(March 3, 1850). 

The three Mormon periodicals noting Oliver Cow- 
dery's death did so either in brief comment or by 
way of reference to his early prominence in the 
Church. Until his brief reunion with former friends 
on his return to the Church, the Latter-day Saints 
were basically unaware of his non-Mormon achieve- 
ments. But he had created a marked impression upon 
leading men wherever he lived. Though hardly a 
resident of Richmond, where he died, the circuit court 
and bar awarded him the normal honor of a prac- 
ticing attorney in good standing. Adjourning all 
business in honor of his funeral, it passed a resolution 
of condolence on behalf of "his afflicted widow and 
daughter," and expressed regret that "in the death of 
our friend and brother, Oliver Cowdeiy, his profes- 
sion has lost an accomplished member, and the 
community a reliable and worthy citizen." 27 Perhaps 
it is strange to those accustomed to modern communi- 
cation that publicity of his death was not given 
in Salt Lake City until some four months afterward, 
when it was printed in the first issue of the Deseret 
News. However, the news did not reach his main 
non-Mormon home at Tiffin, Ohio, until some eight 
months after his death. Breslin immediately head- 
lined a story "Death of Oliver Cowdeiy," in which 
he expressed sorrow at the passing of "our much 
esteemed friend and former fellow citizen." More 
important than the few circumstantial details in this 
article is the final judgment of Oliver Cowdery by 

the friends who knew him best while he was out of 
the Church: 

"His numerous acquaintances at this place will 
receive the tidings of his decease with much regret. 
He was a man of more than ordinary ability, and 
during his residence among us had endeared himself 
to all who knew him in the private and social walks 
of life." 28 

Such a man publicly insisted that he and the 
Prophet Joseph Smith on several occasions stood in 
the presence of divine messengers who brought 
revelation and authority to establish The Church of 
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. O 


1 Although the title "assistant president" is loosely equated with 
"counselor" in early sources, it is clear that Oliver Cowdery's position 
as "Second Elder" meant that he "preceded the counselors in the First 
Presidency in authority. . . ." ( Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of 
Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1954], 
Vol. 1, p. 212.) The main scriptural sources for this conclusion are 
his early designation as second in authority (D&C 20:3) and the 1841 
appointment of Hyrum Smith to the "gifts of the priesthood, that once 
were put upon him that was my servant Oliver Cowdery" (D&C 124:95), 
a position distinguished in the latter revelation from that of the coun- 
selors in the First Presidency. 

i« Messenger and Advocate, Vol. 2 (March 1836), p. 236. 

"Messenger and Advocate, Vol. 1 (February 1835), p. 80. Com- 
pare Joseph Smith, History of the Cliurch of Jesus Christ of Latter-day 
Saints (2nd ed.; Salt Lake City, 1948), Vol. 2, pp. 474-75, which 
describes a public examination in January 1837, of the "Kirtland High 
School," at which "the trustees of the school" were present. 

"Dubuque Times, April 16, 1893. Only Oliver Cowdery fits the 
description of one intimate with Joseph Smith and one of his scribes. 
A convenient reprinting of this article is found in R. Etzenhouser, From 
Palmyra, New York, 1830, to Independence, Missouri, 1894 (Indepen- 
dence, Missouri, 1894), pp. 338-41. 

"•Letter of Oliver Cowdery to his brothers Warren and Lyman, Far 
West, Missouri, June 2, 1838. Still in private hands, the letter was 
reproduced photographically by Stanley R. Gunn, Oliver Cowdery 
(Bookcraft: Salt Lake City, 1962), pp. 263-66. 

s The first known case is advertised under the name "L. & O. Cow- 
dery" with the publication date of January 20, 1840, in the Painesville 
Republican. The notice of the case is preserved in the issue of January 
28, 1840. 

"William Lang, who knew Cowdery personally, says that he came 
to Ohio as a young man "and enteied the law office of Judge Bissell, 
a very distinguished lawyer in Painesville, Lake county, as a student, 
and was admitted to practice after having read the requisite length of 
time and passed an examination." (History of Seneca County [Spring- 
field, Ohio, 1880], p. 364.) Whether Lang really knew the details of 
Cowdery's pie-Tiffin period is open to question. There is no evidence 
that Cowdeiy resided in Painesville, although he was undoubtedly 
assisted by Bissell. 

7 Mary Bryant Alverson Mehling, Cowdrey-Cowdery-Cowdray Gene- 
alogy (1905), p. 173. 

"Painesville Telegraph, November 29, 1838. 

'■'Painesville Republican, September 26, 1839. 

"Ibid., October 3, 1839. 

""Letter From General W. H. Gibson," Seneca Advertiser (Tiffin. 
Ohio), April 12, 1892. 

^Seneca Advertiser, February 19, 1847. 

'^William Lang, History of Seneca County (Springfield, Ohio, 
1880), p. 365. In evaluating Lang's opinion of Cowdery, it must be 
admitted that he shows a distinct critical ability in appraising the 
qualities of his fellow attorneys in the Seneca County bar. 

""Letter from General W. H. Gibson," op. cit. 

ir, Scncca Advertiser, October 14, 1842. 

'"Ibid., April 11, 1845. 

"Ibid., August 7, 1846. 

,s Letter of Oliver Cowdery to Brigham Young and Willard Richards, 
Tiffin, Ohio, December 25, 1843, copied in Journal History of that date, 
and cited by Gunn, Oliver Cowdery, p. 179. 

'""Letter from Wisconsin," May 18, 1847, Seneca Advertiser, June 
18, 1847. 

-°Issues of January 19, 1848, and August 4, 1848, contain his law 
advertisements. The masthead of the latter issue also lists him as co- 

-'Racine Advocate, July 26, 1848. 

--Milwaukee Sentinel, April 13, 1848. 

-■Ibid., April 29, 1848. 

■^Wisconsin Argus, May 16, 1848. 

-•"'William H. Gibson, his brother-in-law and successor in the same 
office, was also discredited in this incident because he had bought time 
for Breslin to repay by not revealing the deficit at the beginning of his 
own term. 

-''Seneca Advertiser, May 5, 1848. This article was copied verbatim 
as an endorsement in the Walworth County Democrat and then repub- 
lished (May 30, 1848) by Horace A. Tenney in the Wisconsin Argus 
at Madison several weeks after Cowdery's defeat. 

-'Circuit Court Record, Ray County, Missouri, Book C, p. 190 
(entry March 5, 1850). 

-^Seneca Advertiser, November 1, 1850. 


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Track Coaches Officer 

Clarence F. Robison, 
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education of over 150,000 
youth of the Church, 
under the direction of 
William E. Berrett, 

LDSSA Director 

Elder Marion D. Hanks, 
Assistant to the Council of 
the Twelve and editor 
of the Era of Youth, has 
been appointed managing 
director of the Latter-day 
Saint Student Association. 
The association is an 
organization of the Church 
designed to relate all 
phases of Church activity 
to college students, and 
assists in the implementa- 
tion of priesthood and 
auxiliary objectives. 

Governor Reagan Receives Era 

A subscription to The Improvement Era has been 
presented to California governor Ronald Reagan by Elders 
Charles E. Cripps and Kenyon Hyatt of the Western 
States Mission. They made the presentation in 
Albuquerque, New Mexico, where Governor Reagan was 
on a speaking assignment. 

CPA Vice President 

J. Will Lewis of the 
Winder Ward in Salt Lake 
City has been installed 
as vice president of the 
National Association of 
Accountants at an interna- 
tional conference held 
in New Orleans. The 
64,000-member association 
is the largest accounting 
organization in the 
world. Brother Lewis has 
served three years on 
the association's national 
board of directors. 


Improvement Era 

Annual MIA Conference 

Thousands of Mutual Improvement Association officers 
and teachers from all parts of the Church attended 
the general sessions and department workshops of the 69th 
annual MIA June Conference. Many of the General 

Authorities participated. Activities included the 
traditional reception line, a new parent-youth production, 
and the annual pre-conference camp 
day program in East Millcreek Canyon. 

BYU Ambassadors Abroad 

Brigham Young University and the Church were 

represented throughout the world during the summer months 

by seven talented groups of Brigham Young University 

students. An 18-man track team and a six-man 

tennis team toured Europe in July. The track team, 

coached by Clarence Robison, faced competition in 

England, Ireland, Germany, Sweden, Finland, and 

Switzerland. The tennis team 

faced teams in England, Holland, Italy, France, 

Monaco, and Portugal. The a capella choir toured Europe 

throughout June and July. A dramatic arts production, 

"Bye Bye Birdie," toured Europe in early spring. 

In June a variety show, "Y's Five," toured armed service 

outposts in Canada and along the DEW line. In 

July and August another variety show, "Startime BYU," 

has been touring the Orient. The International Folk Dancers 

toured Europe in June and July for their fourth 

tour of folk dance festivals and competition. 

Nauvoo Temple Excavations 

Excavators of Nauvoo Restoration, Inc., 
a Church-owned corporation for the 
development of Nauvoo, Illinois, early 
headquarters of the Church, have 
discovered part of the stone basement 
floor of the Nauvoo Temple. The 
stones were laid on a sand base 
without mortar, and confirm existing 
sketchy reports that the Saints in 
the 1840-46 period at Nauvoo put a 
basement floor in the temple. Also 
discovered in the excavations was 
part of a leg of a stone ox that upheld 
the baptismal font. 

August 1968 



cMafor Genealogical ^Record Sources in 


of the 
on new 

Prepared by the Research 
Department of the 
Genealogical Society 

There are excellent genealogical sources available for research in The Netherlands. The 
researcher may choose from a variety of sources, some more valuable than others. As in 
most European countries, the parish records can be considered the most important and 
most valuable research source before the civil registers were introduced by law in 1811. 
After 1811 the researcher should use the civil registers and population registers because 
they contain more detailed genealogical information. For information prior to 1811, 
the parish records should be searched, and as a supplement the various sources found in 
the state archives (rijksarchieven) and city archives in each province. 

Following are valuable printed references and guides : 

De Rijksarchieven in Nederland (The State Archives in The Netherlands), ('s Gravenhage: Minis- 
terie van Onderwijs, Kunsten en Wetenschappen, 1953), 404 pp., index. A catalog of the state 
archives giving the titles of their holdings. 

Hoe vindt me zijn voorouders in de Nederlandse archieven (How to find Dutch ancestors in the 
archives), (Amsterdam: Nederlandse Genealogische Vereniging, 1961), 183 pp., index. Gives in- 
formation on what types of records are available in the archives and what information the rec- 
ords contain. 

H. Brouver, oud-Hoofdarchivist bij Het Algemeen Rijksarchief te 's Gravenhage, Geschreven Ver- 
leden (Genealogy and old script), ('s Gravenhage: Europese Bibliotheek, 1963). Gives informa- 
tion pertaining to various genealogical records and their contents; also a brief introduction to 
early Dutch handwriting. 

Jhr. Mr. Dr. E. A. van Beresteyn, Genealogisch Repertorium, 3 Vols., ('s Gravenzande: Het Cen- 
traal Bureau voor Genealogie, 1962). Master index to genealogical publications, listing family 
names with the source where the name can be found. 

K. ter Laan, Aardrijkskundig woordenboek van Nederland, ('s Gravenhage: G. B. van Goor 
Zonen's Uitgeversmaatschappij N.V., 1948), 510 pp. Lists all places in The Netherlands and the 
county and province of larger juirsdictions. 

Beschrijving der Doop- Trouw & Begraafboeken, enz. van voor 1811 (popularly called by research- 
ers the "Retro-Acta"), (published by the state archive of each province). Inventories and des- 
criptions of the civil and church records kept by the state archive dating before 1811. All volumes 
with the exception of North Holland are available at the Genealogical Society Library. 

The chart and table that follow contain answers to the above questions for the major 
genealogical record sources of The Netherlands. Major sources are listed, together with 
type of record, period covered, type of information given, and source availability. 

Table A shows at a glance the record sources available for a research problem in a 
particular century. 

Table B provides more detailed information about the major records available. For 
example, if a pedigree problem is in the 17th century, a. quick indication can be ob- 
tained from Table A of the sources available for that period. Reference to Table B 
will then provide more complete information. 




1. Population Registers 

2. Civil Registration 

3. Marriage Supplements 

4. Impost Taxes 



16th 17th 18th 19th 20U 

Improvement Era 















About 1843 
to present 

About 1811 
to present 
some in the 
South begin 

some later 


About 1600 
to present 

About 1500 
to present; 


Name of head of family, maiden name of 
wife, names and sex of children, grandchil- 
dren, sons or daughters-in-law, dates and 
places of birth, religion, profession, residence 
and address, date of moving into town and 
from where, date of moving out of town and 
destination, dates of death, if died in the 
house registered 

Births: name of child, date and place of 
birth; names, professions, and residence of 
parents; name and age of informer; names, 
ages, residences, professions, and signatures 
of two witnesses 

Marriage intentions: names, ages, proles 
sions, residences of bride and groom; names, 
occupations, and residences of parents; date 
and place of proclamation 

Marriages: names, ages, occupations, resi- 
dences, places of birth of bride and groom; 
names, occupations, and residence of parents; 
date and place of marriage; names and sig- 
natures of witnesses 

Deaths: name, birthplace, age, last resi- 
dence, and occupation of deceased; name, 
residence, and occupation of informant; 
names of surviving spouse and children; 
names and signature of witnesses and official 


City archives; city registrar; bein 
filmed (Genealogical Society) 

Before 1882: mostly in state ar- 
chives or in the arrondissement 
rechtbank (provinces are divided in- 
to judicial "arrondissements") of 
the region to which a city belongs; 
on film (GS) 

After 1882: city archives; being 
filmed (GS) 

The marriage supplements include all docu- 
ments and certificates that were required 
in older times to prove the identity of the 
couple who intended to marry 
Birth record of couples: names, dates and 
places of birth, names of parents, name of 

Affidavit of recognition: names of seven 
witnesses who can identify the bride and 
groom • 

Certificate of military record of groom: 
name and other identifying data concerning 
military service of the groom 

Declaration of intention: names of bride 
and groom and their parents, residences, 
names of witnesses, 

Death or burial records of parents or other 
persons, which records could identify the 
couple to be married: name of deceased, 
date of death or burial, sometimes name of 

A register of all those who 
including nonconformists 

Tarried or died, 

Births or christenings: name, date and place 
of christening, name of father or both par- 
ents, sometimes names of witnesses 

Marriages: names of bride and groom, date 
of marriage, date and place where license 
was requested, name of former spouse, if 
married previously 

Deaths and buriahs: name of deceased, date 
and place of burial; in later records date 
and place of death; sometimes name of 
surviving spouse 

Name, place of origin, profession, date of 
entering the city 

Before 1882; mostly in state ar- 
chives or in the arrondissement 
rechtbank of the region to which a 
city belongs; on film (GS) 

After 1882; city archives 
filmed (GS) 

Only a few remaining in provinces 
of Holland and Utrecht only; state 
archives; on film (GS) 

Before 1882, state archives; after 
1882, local parishes 

NOTE. After 1811 use civil regis- 
ters or administration records, the 
civil registers being more informa- 

State archives; only a few remain; 
some in print (GS) 

August 1968 









Wills: name of testator, date of document, 

Some in state archives; some 

in city 



names of heirs, description of property, 
names of witnesses, residence, name of offi- 

archives; being filmed (GS) 




Deeds: names of buyers and sellers, des- 
cription of property, names of witnesses, resi- 
dence, name of official 

Rental contracts: names and residences of 
partners in the rental contract 

Land records, property appraisals for taxa- 
tion, etc.: name of property owner, resi- 
dence, year, amount of taxation 



Similar to judicial records 

Some in state archives; some in 



city archives; being filmed 




Acceptance oj guardianship: name of orphan, 


names of guardians, residences 


(De Weeska- 

Appointment of guardianship: name of 


guardian, name of orphan, residences, names 
of deceased parents, name of court 

Inventories oj property: names of parents 
of orphan, name of orphan, residence, date 
of document, place where document was 




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Improvement Era 

Want toFay 

Your Money ? 

By Melvin L. 
(Bud) Brain 

Man's accumulation of monetary worth is arrived at in 
various ways. It is acquired at varying prices. Who is to 
say hoiv much money costs ivhen men use their best friend- 
ships to gain financial positions? When a man exchanges 
health for wealth, what kind of a bargain has he made? If a 
man sacrifices any principle to make money, he has paid too 
much for the commodity. Money gained by illegitimate means 
can do that person no lasting good. 

The dollar ought not to be so close to our eyes that we 
cannot see that the purpose of life is happiness. 

The progress of the world has been made by men, both 
great and small, ivho have put truth above all else. We ought 
to be ever on guard that the pursuit of money does not rob 
us of our everlasting blessings. 

Finally, the man who pursues money with such headlong 
passion that he loses his relationship with his God pays the 
dearest price of all for that ivhich will perish with him. 


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body, mind, and spirit. 

Under the guidance of dedi- 
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today's busy world. 

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Write for details. 

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(616) 964-7121 

August 1968 


Lest We Forget 


aiidlhe <^(*£) 


By Albert L. Zobell, Jr. 

Research Editor 


• A popular conception of the 
Mormon pioneers is of ox teams 
pulling prairie schooners 
through endless prairie grass 
toward the Salt Lake Valley. 
Of equal interest is a lesser- 
known company of Saints ivho 
took to the sea, under the direc- 
tion of Elder Samuel Brannan, 
departing from New York Har- 
bor on February 4, 184.6 — coin- 
cidental^ the same day that the 
western exodus started from 
Nauvoo, Illinois. 

The 238 voyagers started 
their journey on the ship Brook- 
lyn, commanded by a Captain 
Richardson. They ivere well- 
equipped with farming tools, 
gristmills, a printing press, 
type, and paper. In their long 
trip around Cape Horn at the 
southern tip of South America, 
they experienced gales and calm 
seas, each playing havoc with 
whatever schedule had been 
planned. During the storms 
women and children were lashed 
to their berths at night. 

Once the passengers gathered 
around Captain Richardson to 
hear him say, "My friends, 
there is a time in every man's 
life when it is fitting that he 

Illustrated by Maurice Scan/on 

should prepare to die. That time 
has come to us, and unless God 
interposes, we shall all go to the 
bottom. I have done all in my 
power, but this is the tvorst gale 
I have,knoivn since I was master 
of a ship." 

One woman answered confi- 
dently, "Captain, we left for 
California, and we shall get 

Another woman said, "I have 
no more fear than if we were 
on the solid land." 

The captain gazed in mute 
surprise and then turned, say- 
ing, "These people have a faith 
that I have not. They are either 
fools and fear nothing, or they 
know more than I do." 

In May the Saints went 
ashore at Juan Fernandez (Rob- 
inson Crusoe's island) to bury 
Mrs. Laura Goodwin, who died 
from injuries received during a 
violent Pacific Ocean storm. 

On June 25 they anchored at 
Honolulu, where they heard of 
the unsettled conditions in Cali- 

Samuel Brannan, their ambi- 
tious and energetic leader, 
bought condemned muskets in 
Honolulu at $3 and $4 each, and 

he drilled his men on shipboard. 
He believed that he would bring 
American victory to California. 
The Brooklyn arrived at Yerba 
Buena on a foggy July 31, 
1846, only to find that peace 
had already been established. 

Yerba Buena, whose popula- 
tion iv as doubled by the arrival 
of the Brooklyn settlers, had 
some 300 residents on January 
1, 184-7, about 200 of whom were 
Mormons. The town was called 
Yerba Buena and the area San 
Francisco, causing some con- 
fusion, so on January 30 the 
bustling town was renamed San 

Brannan began publication of 
the California Star, the second 
newspaper to be established in 
California, shortly after his ar- 
rival there. Many from the 
Brooklyn were farmers, and 
they recognized the amazing 
fertility of California soil; 
Brannan himself saiv the im- 
mense possibilities of San Fran- 

On April 4, 1847, Brannan 
and two companions left San 
Francisco and traveled east in 
search of President Brigham 
Young, who they knew had 
winter -quartered on the Mis- 
souri. They traveled by way of 
Fort Hall (near the present city 
of Pocatello, Idaho), and met 
the pioneers at the Green River 
on June 30. Brannan brought 
news that the Brooklyn Saints 
were now settling in the San 
Joaquin Valley and that the 
Mormon Battalion had reached 
the Pacific Coast; he also had 
with him copies of 16 issues of 
the California Star. He talked 
of the welcome the Church could 
expect in California. President 
Young was little impressed, as 
the decision had already been 
made to settle in the valley of 
Great Salt Lake. 

While at Green River the pio- 


Improvement Era 

neers ivere joined by an advance 
party of the sick detachment 
from, the Mormon Battalion. 
Brannan traveled with the sick 
detachment and continued to 
extol the wonders of California. 
He arrived in the Salt Lake 
Valley with the members of that 
sick detachment July 29, and 
was disheartened to discover 
that crops had been planted, a 
city had been planned, and that 
this indeed ivas to be the abode 
of the Saints. Sadly he returned 
to California. 

On April 5, 184-9, President 
Young wrote a special request 
for tithing ivithheld from the 
Church by Brannan. The letter 
held both a promise and a warn- 
ing: ". . . if you will deal justly 
with your fellows, and deal out 
with liberal heart and open 
hands, making a righteous use 
of all your money, the Lord is 
willing you should accumulate 
the rich treasures of the earth 
and the good things of time in 
abundance; but should you 
ivithhold, when the Lord says 
give, your hope and pleasing 
prospects will be blasted in an 
hour you think not of, and no 
arm can save. . . ." 

Brannan participated in the 
early scenes of California's pio- 
neer life — the discovery of gold, 
wild speculation in San Fran- 
cisco real estate (at one time, it 
is said, he owned all of Market 
Street), a distillery, and mining, 
milling, and railroad companies. 
Known as the richest man in 
California, he had extensive 
land holdings there and in 
Mexico. But despite all his 
initial successes, he gradually 
became intemperate; his wife 
and family left him; his health 
and his fortune melted away; 
and he died penniless and for- 
gotten at Escondido, California, 
on May 6, 1889. For 16 months 
his body lay unclaimed in a 

morgue in nearby San Diego. 

Historian Hubert H. Bancroft 
declaimed that Samuel Brannan 
"probably did more for San 
Francisco and for other places 
[in California] than ivas effect- 
ed by the combined efforts of 
scores of better men; and, in- 
deed, in many respects, he ivas 

not a bad man." ^History of 
California, Vol. 2, p. 728.) 

When the Saints became es- 
tablished in Salt Lake Valley, 
many of the Brooklyn people 
left California and moved east 
to join them, thus ending one of 
the most interesting stories of 
early Mormon migration. O 

Richard L. Evans 

The Spoken Word 

Never too far from our thoughts are questions concerning the 
length of life, the purpose of life— life, death, loss of loved ones, 
the whereabouts of those who leave us, and our own inevitable 
leaving of those we love. These are among the most insistent questions 
of all time. As to those whom we have lost, those whom we may lose, 
and as to ourselves: "No cogent reason remains for supposing the soul 
dies with the body," said Dr. Arthur H. Compton. ". . . We [scientists] 
find strong reasons for believing that man is of extraordinary importance 
in the cosmic scheme. ... It takes a lifetime to build the character of a 
noble man. The exercise and discipline of youth, the struggles and 
failures of maturity, the loneliness and tranquility of age— these make 
the fire through which he must pass to bring out the pure gold of his 
soul. Having been thus perfected, what shall Nature do with him, 
annihilate him? What infinite waste! As long as there is in heaven 
a God of love, there must be for God's children everlasting life!" 1 So 
spoke this eminent scientist whose knowledge was full of reason and 
whose reason was full of faith. All of us have losses— or will have— 
and no matter how many friends we have, or family, the loss of one 
beloved one leaves always a place unfilled in our hearts, as David Mac- 
beth Moir said it: 

"We miss thy small step on the stair; 
We miss thee at thine evening prayer; 
All day we miss thee, everywhere." 2 
To you who know the loss of loved ones, to you who think upon your 
own time— sometime— of leaving this life: there is a place where loved 
ones wait, a place, a purpose, and an everlastingness of life in the real 
and substantive sense. God grant to each one faith and peace and 
purpose, and memories made sweeter by this assurance, that when 
we go it will not be as strangers, but to find again beloved faces, the 
personal presence of family and friends. 

^r. Arthur H. Compton, 1928 Nobel Prize winner in physics. 
-David Macbeth Moir, Casa Wappy. 

# "The Spoken Word" from Temple Square, presented over KSL and the Columbia 
Broadcasting System May 26, 1968. Copyright 1968. 

August 1968 


The Heritage 
By Iris W. Schow 

My cousin says Grandfather told her once 

How as a hungry child he deftly picked 

A crust of bread from off the brimming top 

Of someone's pail of leftovers, and ate 

With thankful heart before he did his chores. 

My brother says, "1 wont believe that, though. 

Not one of us; it cant have come to that" 

Well, be that as it may, 1 see him best, 

A bishop, at the head of his own board 

Well-spread with dainties, urging more on all 

Beneath his roof. And board and roof both serve 

To symbolize the triumph of his hands, 

His heart, and mind over the unkempt waste 

Whose challenge he accepted in his youth. 

When as a convert he attained these shores. 

His were two assets— all that he need have: 

A land that gave free enterprise to each. 

A faith that recognized free agency— 

These were his heritage from earth and heaven. 

36 Improvement Era 

The Day of the 
Lamanite Is Now 

This is the theme for the Indian Placement Program this year. The 
Lord seems to be stretching forth his hand over his children of the great plains. 

As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints all over the world, you may 
have ivondered what it all means. What do you know about your Indian brother? What can you 
tell of the heart that beats tvithin him? Can you understand, the depths of his dark eyes and the 
strength in his silent manner? 

You've heard of his bravery, his forest wisdom. You've read of hogans and headdresses, 
war dances and tribal customs. You may even oivn some of his unique handmade jewelry. But 
what woidd you talk with him about, if you were given the chance? 

What is so special about a Lamanite, anyway? Is he really a literal descendant of Israel? 
It is true that the scriptures indicate a great future for this special child of God, as he learns 
of His plan and lives according to His commandments? 

You can't really understand the American Indian, it has been said, until you step into his 
moccasins. Not everyone can have this privilege in fact, but vicariously it's yours for the read- 
ing in this issue of the Era of Youth. 

August 1968 


Selflessness was the theme of the sermons of the Lord during 
his earthly ministry. The Indian Student Placement Program is 
one of placing Latter-day Saint Indian children in Latter-day 
Saint homes for the school years, there to absorb and make their 
own the best Mormon culture as well as the training and finest 
culture of the best communities of a great country. 

Perhaps this is one of the most selfless of all the programs 
of the Church, for here the best people share their homes, their 
funds, their facilities, and their hearts with young Indian people 
who otherwise would be deprived of many of these great blessings. 

It is significant that many of the homes that house an 
Indian child are homes already filled with children and where 
the children and the foster Indian youth, with the foster parents, 
all work out a delightful family relationship. The Indian child 
learns not only English and the best in the white man's ways, 
but he also learns the gospel, participates in the program, learns 
to pray, develops a testimony, and works out a satisfactory 
human relationship with others who have a different culture. 

To contrast the advantages and blessings that are coming 
to the Indians today with that which they received 20 years ago, 
the improvement is almost unbelievable. And to look into the 
future and see the great direct benefits that will come to numerous 
Indian families as the Indian students reach maturity, fill hon- 
orable missions, and have their ceremonies performed in the 
temple is highly gratifying. 

—Elder Spencer W. Kimball 
of the Council of the Twelve 


Era of Youth 

LamaniteYouth Speaks 

Editor's Note: Students in the placement program 
speak, that you may know what is in their hearts. 

ray LOVIS: The day of the Laman- 
ite is now, we're told — the day 
when the birds can sing again, 
when the children can play in 
peace again; the day when we are 
walking out of our wilderness to 
a beautiful morn as the flowers 
begin to blossom and the clouds 
depart from the sky; the day 
when we grow, when we learn, 
when we prosper again in righ- 
teousness. How long since our 
people have laughed in joy? This 
is the day when we are coming 
back to good, the day when the 
gospel of Christ abides in our 

VERENDA DOSELA: Eight years 
ago when I came into this pro- 
gram I got off the bus with just 
the clothes on my back and a 
few small possessions in an old 
shoebox. I came from a humble 
home. My people are humble. 
But you have opened your 
hearts to me, and for that I am 
thankful. Now I can go home 
with the clothes on my back and 
with my belongings in a small 
shoebox, but I am rich. I can be 
more wealthy than any of my 

people on the reservation, be- 
cause that which is inside me is 
as precious as a pearl. I have a 
testimony of the gospel. I know 
that God lives and that Jesus is 
the Christ. I now have a goal — 
something to strive for. It is as 
precious as the sun and glows 
with beauty ahead of me as my 

jesse holliday: If we Lamanites 
are to blossom as a rose, our 
confidence must wax strong in 
the presence of God. We must 
prepare and labor in this life. Let 
us not think of ourselves, my 
people, as being different from 
other people. We are all children 
of God, and his promise applies 
to all of us — brown or white, bond 
or free. God can recognize a 
humble heart wherever it may be. 

SARAH NEZ: I learn the way of 
the white man's world. I learn 
to speak in English. I learn what 
it means to be a Lamanite. I 
learn the gospel of Jesus Christ 
and come to live with people I've 
never seen before. Their home 

is not a hogan made of logs and 
mud like mine. I learn many 
things. Now I am proud to be a 
Navajo — proud of my home and 
my people and proud of what I 
learn from white mom and dad, 
sisters, and brothers. 

years that I have participated in 
this placement program have 
been the best in my life. I have 
learned so much about the 
Church and have gained a 
stronger testimony of the gospel 
of Christ. 

back from the white man's home 
to our own people, we should try 
to set an example of what we have 
learned in these past years. Then 
our people will want to join the 
Church and learn of modern ways. 
There was a Navajo hoy who 
tended sheep, and the missionaries 
found him and taught him the 
gospel. They told him about the 
placement program, and talked 
with his parents, who decided to 
let him go and learn more of God 
and go to good schools. After hard 
work and study this same boy now 
has a four-year scholarship to col- 
lege. Yes, our day has come, but 
it is up to us to see what we can 
do about it. 

August 1968 


Hue Proud and Free 

By Stella Mosqueda 

/ am a young Indian. 

My hair is black and my skin is brown, 

But I feel no inferiority before the White Man. 

Brown is the color of the earth; 

Black is the color of the sky before the 

life-giving rain falls. 
As the soil and rain bring forth food for life. 
Materials of work, and beauty for pleasure, 
So must I, as the lord of nature, 
Bring forth good into the world. 

All Indians are blessed at birth 

With the precious heritage of independence and pride 

Like a costly gem, this precious heritage must be treasured, 

Lest it become a dull, worthless stone. 

To live proud and free, as was meant to be, 

Indian youth must learn to progress 

In the White Man's hunting ground, for it is ours too. 

The White Man has not taken our land; 

He has only changed it, made it a tower of strength 

For all Americans of ivhatever race or nationality. 

America is my land; America is our land: 

To hold, to cherish, to cleave unto, to preserve, 

and to protect. 
It is our duty to learn to live in our changed homeland. 

We can no longer use the bow and arrow 

to obtain our necessities. 
Our new tools must be ambition and education. 
We cannot stand tall and proud 
If ive refrain from the pursuit of progress. 
We cannot be free if we do not try to break 
The. binding chains of poverty and ignorance. 

God gave all his children talents to use for him. 

God gave to Indian youth a special mission, 

As first Americans: to preserve and cherish America's freedom, 

And to hold themselves and others proud and free 

As it ivas meant for all God's children to be. 


Stella Mosqueda, 16, a Yakima Indiar 
from Longview, Washington, is attend- j 
ing Riverside Indian School at Ana- 
darko, Oklahoma. A recent convert to] 
the Church, she is a seminary student] 
and plans to major in journalism in] 

They've Said It With Music 

By David Smoot 

• Music with a message espe- 
cially for them rings in the 
hearts of many young American 
Indians who recently have been 
entertained by the "Say It With 
Music" cast from Brigham 
Young University's Program 

When Bimmer Jones and 
Vickie Washburn stepped on 
stage to sing "Go, My Son," the 
theme for the program was set 
and the challenge was firmly 
planted in the hearts of the 
young Indian audiences. This 
song was written by Arliene 
Nofchissey Williams, a Navajo, 
and Carnes Burson, a Ute. 

"Go, my son, go and climb the 
ladder ; 

Go, my son, go and earn your 
feather ; 

Go, my son, make your people 
proud of you. 

Work my son, get an education ; 

Work my son, learn a good 
vocation ; 

And climb, my son, 

Go and take a lofty view. 

From on the ladder of an educa- 

You can see to help your Indian 

nation ; 
Then reach, my son, 
And lift your people up with 


Saying it with music proves 
highly effective, and besides be- 
ing thrilled, many of the young 
Indian students have taken 
steps that will lead to higher 
education and help for their 

Matt Goudy, one of the cast 
members, is a good example of 
what this program can do. Matt 
is a Yakima Indian from Wash- 
ington. He is not a member of 
the Church, but he found his 
way to Brigham Young Uni- 
versity in Provo, Utah, after 
seeing just such a program as 
he is now helping to present. 

Following the recent tour to 
Indian sections, letters flow in 
to Paul Felt, director of Indian 
education at BYU. They praise 
the ballroom dancers and rave 
about the Indian-Polynesian 
numbers and the members of 
the Tribe of Many Feathers, who 
also participate in the produc- 

tion. Saying it with music gets 
it said effectively. 

Jane Thompson has been 
planning and directing and 
touring with various program 
casts for several years. Many 
of them have gone to distant 
places. "But," says Jane, "as 
important as these tours have 
been, none has had a more spe- 
cial purpose or a more tangible 
sense of attempting to do some- 
thing worthwhile than have the 
tours we have taken to the In- 
dians. Our fifth tour has 
proven once again a delight for 
us in working with new and 
talented Indian students on 
campus. Presenting our show 
for enthusiastic Indian audi- 
ences and meeting Indian lead- 
ers and Indians from every walk 
of life has been an exceptional 
experience that we've all en- 

President McKay has said 
that today is the day to prepare 
the Lamanite people for the 
work they have ahead of them. 
The cast of "Say It With Music" 
is helping to accomplish this 
goal. O 

Matt Goudy and Vickie Wentz sing "Pass 
That Peace Pipe." They were favorites on 
the "Say It With Music" show. 

Vickie Wentz talks to the animals. And the 
animals are almost as tall as she is. 

August 1968 


Student Placement Program 

By President A. Theodore Tuttle 

of the First Council of the Seventy 

• The Indian Placement Program is a unique 
and distinctive program. It is based on love — 
the love of natural parents for their children that 
is sufficient to motivate them to send their chil- 
dren elsewhere to obtain better opportunities. 
And it is based on the love of foster parents that 
is sufficient for them to open their homes and 
hearts to accept another's child as their own. 

Nephi saw the days when the Gentiles would 
help his seed, "both temporal and spiritual." 

"And after our seed is scattered the Lord God 
will proceed to do a marvelous work among the 
Gentiles, which shall be of great worth unto our 
seed; wherefore, it is likened unto their being 
nourished by the Gentiles and being carried in 
their arms and upon their shoulders." (1 Ne. 

. « "The sons and daughters of Zion will soon 
be required to devote a portion of their time in 
instructing the children of the forest. For they 
must be educated and instructed in all the arts of 
civil life, as well as in the gospel. They must be 
clothed, fed, and instructed in the principles and 
practice of virtue, modesty, temperance, cleanli- 
ness, industry, mechanical arts, manners, cus- 
toms, dress, music, and all other things which 
are calculated in their nature to refine, purify, 
exalt, and glorify them as the sons and daughters 
of the royal house of Israel, and of Joseph ; who 
are making ready for the coming of the bride- 

groom." (Proclamation of the Council of the 
Twelve, April 6, 1845.) 

The placement program is one of the many 
programs that help to accomplish these things. 
It is designed to make possible educational, spiri- 
tual, social, and cultural opportunities for Latter- 
day Saint Indian children, and to provide oppor- 
tunity for them to participate in non-Indian 
community life so they can use their own experi- 
ence now and later for their own benefit and 
that of their people. 

The program exists primarily for the educa- 
tional opportunities it affords the Indian children 
it serves. These opportunities, however, consist 
not only of experiences in the formal school set- 
ting but also informal training and experiences 
received in the home and church. 

The reaction to this program by families has 
been enthusiastic and wholesome. It has not only 
provided youngsters an honest-to-goodness oppor- 
tunity to play "cowboys and Indians," but has 
also extended the opportunity to the whole family 
to practice true Christian virtues. 

As with all long-range programs, it is diffi- 
cult to see the fruits immediately. (Somehow it 
takes just so many years for children to grow 
up!) It is only when these young people have 
succeeded in school, filled honorable missions, 


Era of Youth 

married in the temple, and are faithfully giving 
service to their fellowmen that the effects of this 
program can be assessed. 

There are, however, other benefits than those 
to the Indian students : the program also puts the 
next generation of leaders (today's young people) 
in contact with Indians, and provides an oppor- 
tunity to grow up with them. Most of today's 
parents have not had this opportunity. 

I heard a young Indian boy say of his experi- 
ence, "The first day I went to school the other 
kids looked at me as if I were a freak or something 
— but now they all accept me and love me as I 
love them." Learning how to live better together 
now will make it far easier to live together as 

Another corollary benefit is that a non-Indian 
youth learns that an Indian child is more like 
than different from him. 

The idea of "feathers" is soon (and just as 
well) forgotten when these fine young people 
are seen participating in sports, speech, drama, 

August 1968 

school, and other activities, just as other non- 
Indian children do. 

Lamanite boys played in the championship 
games for both Class "A" and "B" schools in the 
Utah State Basketball Tournament this past 

There are at this time 43 American Indians 
serving full-time missions to their people. 

Temple marriage is becoming the rule rather 
than the exception among placement students. 

Many students are receiving their Eagle 
Scout awards, often the first ones in their tribe 
to reach this goal. 

An ever-increasing number of students are 
taking part in school activities, and many are 
receiving recognition for high scholastic achieve- 

There is still something more that young 
people can do for their Indian brothers and sis- 
ters. Elder Spencer W. Kimball has said : "My 
young brothers and sisters, I plead with you to 
accept the Lamanite as your brother, a people 
who ask not for distant, far-away sympathy, 
your haughty disdain, your supercilious penny 
throwing, your turned-up nose, your superior 
snobbery, and your cold calculated tolerance. I 
ask you to give them what they want and need 
and deserve : opportunity and fraternal brotherli- 
ness, your understanding, your warm and glowing 
fellowship, your unstinted and beautiful love, and 
your enthusiastic brotherhood." 

This placement program is operated under 
the direction of the Church Indian Committee and 
the general presidency of the Relief Society. It is 
a state-licensed program, under the direction of 
Clare Bishop, program director, with 33 qualified 
professional social workers. 

Many people become involved in such a mar- 
velous program. As with all Church programs, 
the stake president, with a high councilor to 
assist, is in charge of this work. The bishop 
recommends families in his ward who want to 
participate in this endeavor, and a caseworker 
(all are returned missionaries) helps the foster 
families to carry out their responsibility. It is the 
testimony of those involved in this work that the 
Lord gives special blessings to all who participate 
in this service. O 



Dennie Deal helps with the chores on the 
farm of his foster parents, Mr. and Mrs. 
Ferris Fitzgerald. 

Climbing the ladder on the farm is sym- 
bolic of the climb Dennie Deal is making 
in life. 

Shooting for the basket is a favorite with all boys. 

The New life of an Indian Teen 

By Elaine Cannon 

Off the reservation, on to the 
campus! Young Indian boys and 
girls relish the adventure. It's 
like a dream come true, and when 
it happens there is no more appre- 
ciative heart, no more responsive 
student. From the days of lying 

Dennie Deal totes his new "sister," Kelly 
Ann Fitzgerald, Indian style. 

on one's back counting stars over 
the hogan, to the complicated new 
world of new school, new friends, 
and new "family," the transition 
is swift. The old ways are tucked 
away and treasured as part of 
childhood, part of precious cul- 

Era of Youth 

Time out is also taken to develop talent. 
Dennie Deal hangs an oil he's finished and 

Learn a trade. Be good for something! 
That's the command Indian students re- 
spond to eagerly. Dennie Deal welding. 

v ■' -**•* jg;****- j^- w .,«^ fu g- .M t 

/t's a friendly tangle for foster brothers Dennie Deal and Kevin Fitzgerald. 

August 1968 


Homework is a community affair when LaVale Footracer, Pearl Keith, Becky Siler, and Suzy Mae Yazzie get together. 

Sean Siler is comforted by his loving La- 
manite sister, Pearl Keith. 

ture. The new ways are learned 
with some pain, but they are worth 
the struggle as life's boundaries 
are stretched. Young people, 
whatever their race, are rather 
alike. They make friends, fall in 
and out of love, learn a trade, get 
homesick and sick of home on 
occasion. They follow some trends 
and discount others. They worry 

about their looks and their poise 
and their grades. They set goals 
and excitedly strive to reach them. 
For the young Lamanites, the 
world holds much wonder and 
much warmth in the homes of new 
families they come to know and 
love, and in the schools and ac- 
tivities of work and fun they choose 
to follow. 

Photos by Efdon Lmschoten 


Era of Youth 

Don Johnson, foster son of Mr. and Mrs. 
Richard F. North, and Pearl Keith, foster 
daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Clifford Siler, go 
format in the marble rotunda of Utah's 
State Capitol Building. 

'It's a date!" and Pearl Keith is the excited girl answering the call. 

Helen Yazzie shows her winning handicraft 
to her foster mother, Mrs. Reed Newbould. 


Pearl Keith is like any beautiful young girl 

^•'>y: : .i when it comes to her hair — it must look 
L^teril perfect for the dance. 


Rainell Naha shows her speech award to 
her proud foster family, the Clayton 
Lamoreaux family. 

Left to right are LaVale Footracer, (Karl 
Anderson home), Suzy Mae Yazzie (Shelby 
West home), Pearl Keith (Clifford Siler 
home), Martha Wayne (Burtis Jackson 

home), Rosemary Decker (George Robinson 
home), Sue Williams (J. Ralph Mantle 
home), and Carolyn Dick (Dr. George A. 
Miller home). 

Ben Watahomigie, foster son of Mr. and Mrs. 
Leonard Hathaway, touches the audience 
when he bears his testimony. 

Reflections of a Borrowed Mother 

By Betty North 

Members of the Richard North family of Holladay, Utah, have wel- 
comed a Lamanite son into their home this year, and the mother 
speaks from her heart to her own missionary son about the experi- 

Dear Jim: 

Don's going on a mission ! 
This young Lamanite who occu- 
pies your bed, and shares our 
home, has chosen to go on a 
mission this fall ! As a senior he 

had the choice to remain with 
us through the summer and 
work to save for this special 
call, rather than go by bus with 
the other students to spend the 
summer with their natural par- 

ents. It's hard to believe that in 
a short time I will be writing to 
three sons — two on missions 
and one at college. 

Looking back on the past, I 
feel grateful for the testimony 
I have gained of the Indian 
Student Placement Program. It 
is one in which families of the 
Church can usefully serve our 
fellowmen and can at the same 


Era of Youth 

time do missionary work and 
serve the Lord. Great blessings 
come to our homes through this 
opportunity. I must admit that 
sometimes I feel a bit guilty 
that we are reaping such joy 
and rewards from our experi- 
ence, when much credit must be 
given to the influence and love 
of the two families who came 
before us in Don's life — really 
three, counting his natural 
mother. In one particular year 
his mother allowed four of her 
LDS children (she's not a 
member) to leave home and go 
among strangers to gain an 
education and learn our way of 
life. What a sacrifice! I won- 
der if I could have such 
strength. Her anxiety would be 
lessened if she could only see 
how the buses are met at the 
BYU. Each boy's hair is cut by 
volunteer barbers, and the stu- 
dents are examined by volunteer 
doctors, dentists, and nurses. 
Friendly members of the Church 
help them freshen up and feed 
them, and loving families drive 
them to their homes throughout 
the state. 

We had the opportunity to 
meet Don's first foster family 
in Kamas recently, and his fos- 
ter mother there expressed how 
well he looked, reminding him 
how thin he was when he ar- 
rived at their home for the first 
time. That first winter found 
him much heavier and able to 
lift a bale of hay over his head 
onto a truck. 

Don has entered right into 
family life with us. He reads 
Book of Mormon scriptures 
after the evening meal with us, 
and he assumes responsibility 

around the house and yard. 
Actually, Jim, he keeps his share 
of the room neater than you 
did! He helps with the horses 
and other animals and even 
pitches in to take his turn with 
the heavy household cleaning on 
Saturdays. Dad got some ter- 
rific movie action shots of Russ 
and Don playing basketball. 
Don is working toward becom- 
ing a coach when he returns to 
his reservation. These Indian 
youths are natural-born athletes. 

We are learning a great deal 
from Don as he shares our 
home. We admire his courage 
to stick to the program, even 
though he becomes homesick at 
times. Our way of life is often 
different and difficult, but he 
adapts his life to ours readily 
and willingly. We respect his 
righteous desires to be a mis- 
sionary to his people and to 
uplift their way of life. We 
appreciate his strength of testi- 
mony and strong desire to keep 
the commandments of his 
Father in heaven. 

We are learning from his 
calm and quiet approach to life, 
his insight and depth of under- 
standing, and his sense of 
humor. We never give without 
receiving, do we, Jim? Oh, on 
that recent outing to Kamas we 
learned too that he was as stoic 

and brave as one would expect 
an Indian to be. He accidentally 
ran a broken arrow through his 
hand while practicing archery. 
Not one sound came from him 
as it was removed and attended 

It's easy to accept these young 
people, Jim, as you get to know 
them. They are so talented and 
sensitive and strong. When our 
Don takes his turn at family 
prayers, he prays from a heart 
full of appreciation for the won- 
derful things he has received 
from all the families he has lived 
with over the years. It warms 
our hearts, I'll tell you, to sense 
his deep gratitude for the bless- 
ings of this program. 

It's interesting to see how 
little discouragement or criti- 
cism mothers in this program 
have for the young Indian stu- 
dents. They feel as I do — grate- 
ful to be a part of it. Oh, we 
have problems, but we have 
them with our own children, 
too. We cope with them the best 
we can and go on to the joys 
that ordinary living permits. I 
pray daily for the wisdom, un- 
derstanding, and strength to 
make this experience fruitful 
for Don, as well as a blessing 
to our family. 



By Thelma Ireland 

To write of nature now is trite; 
Taboo is love and pale moonlight; 
Passe the flowers, bees, and birds; 
And budding trees are simply words. 
So I will write an ode to space, 
A modern theme — not commonplace; 
A challenge; but excuse me, please, 
While I watch robins in the trees. 

August 1968 



Era of Youth 


By Suzanne Eyestone 

• It was one of those days of late fall when 

it suddenly freezes. It was Sunday morning, and 

I had started early for church, driving carefully 

to avoid patches of ice along the road. The 

car warmed and I sang gaily to the rhythm of the 

motor, which was pulsing and coughing in 

a new way. My breath frosted the windshield 

in fragile, icy designs. 

It wasn't until I stopped for a red light that 
I noticed huge clouds billowing up from 
the front of the car. 

"Oh, no," I thought, "I've ruined the car." 

I steered to the curb, turned off the key, and got 
out. I lifted the hood and stared at the 
motor. The only thing I knew how to do was to 
remove the radiator cap. I had seen Dad 
do it several times. 

The cap was hot and burned my fingers 
as I unscrewed it, jerking it off as quickly 
as possible. Steam and hot water hissed out, 
narrowly missing my wrist, and formed more 
white clouds in the cold air. 

"Oh, no! Oh, no!" New anxiety struck, and the 
tears stung around my eyes, running in little 
lines down my face. 

The passing cars slowed, and the passengers 
stared. Sunday pedestrians also looked 
as they walked past, hands firmly planted in 
their pockets. 

"Oh, no!" Sobbing the same words 
over and over, I climbed in the car and buried my 
head in my hands. Church would have to 
wait; I wasn't going anywhere. 

Several minutes later someone tapped on 
the window. 

"Need some help?" 

"Oh, yes!" I nodded in both relief 
and gratitude. 

A teenage boy was peering through the 
glass. Long blond hair hung around his face, 
almost covering his eyes. He shivered a 

little and buttoned a bright purple school sweater 
with thin fingers. A pair of levis and some 
ornate cowboy boots completed his outfit. 

"I don't know what's wrong," I explained, as 
I climbed from the car. "The motor just 
started steaming." 

He bent over, looked under the hood, and 
felt the radiator. 

"Where ya headed?" he asked, as he wiped 
his hand on his levis, surveying my red-rimmed 
eyes and tear-streaked cheeks. 

"Church," I answered. "I'm supposed to 
be singing in the choir." 

He raised an eyebrow slightly at the word 
"church" and smiled. 

"Well, it looks like all that happened was 
your radiator froze up." He was looking under 
the hood again. 

"The water couldn't get through, and 
it heated and boiled over." He poked around 
a bit more and then straightened up to 
look at me. 

"I think all you'll need is a blanket over 
the radiator for a few minutes, some more 
water, and then everything should be okay." 

He took a blanket from his brightly 
painted, late-model car and carefully covered 
the radiator and the hood. 

"There's a gas station a few blocks from 
here. I'll go get some water. It'll only take 
a few minutes." 

He revved up his car and roared around the 
corner, the tires squealing faintly. 

Before long he was back, pouring water 
from a can into the radiator. He waited 
while I started the car and then followed behind 
me until I reached the church. Then, with a 
honk and a wave, he was gone. 

"Hey, wait!" I yelled as the thought dawned. 
"I didn't even say thank — " But then, how does 
1 one thank a good Samaritan? O 

August 1968 




Christian Brotherhood 

There was an air of expectancy in the 
room. Several hundred Latter-day Saint 
servicemen had been permitted brief relief 
from action on the line to attend the Sun- 
day morning religious services. 

Those who had come early greeted each 
other and then sat quietly as visitors and 
local Base officers entered the room. One 
of those in attendance was the Base Chap- 
lain, a man of high rank and much experi- 
ence. His courtesy in coming was beyond 
the call of duty. He had already arranged 
the place and had been most helpful in 
cooperating to make the meeting possible. 
His coming lent an extra flavor of gra- 
ciousness and kindness, and those present 
ivere grateful. While not a member of the 
Church, he had been a good friend, and 
he was called upon to offer a few words of 

greeting. What he said amounted to far 
more than that. 

"Good morning, my beloved brothers in 
Christ," he said, as he began. The spirit of 
his salutation and the sincerity of it and 
the strength of it touched every heart. 
Across the bounds of denomination or re- 
ligious difference came the sweet, sensitive 
spirit of a devoted man, an earnest fol- 
lower of Christ, speaking in the spirit of 
the Master he served. 

As he finished, there came the united, 
reverent response of a large group of 
brothers in Christ who responded to his 
loving greeting with the solemn strength 
of their own "Amen." 

We had seen and experienced the sweet 
blessing of brotherhood. 

Marion D. Hanks 


Era of Youth 

Right Reverend Franklin S. Spalding, 
who half a century ago sought the opinions 
of Egyptologists concerning the 
Book of Abraham. 

Both the vignette and the rubric announce that this 

section of + he Book of the Dead contains a "Speech for Taking 

the form of a Swallow," yet the chapter itself (No. 86) 

seems to say nothing whatever on the subject. This is 

part of the papyri, rediscovered by Dr. Aziz Atiya, that the 

Prophet Joseph Smith once owned. 

A New Look at the 

Pearl of Great Price 

• With the five giants accounted for, 
the other members of the team should 
not detain us long. But first, Theodule 
Deveria (1831-1871) deserves a word 
of notice because he wrote the first, 
the longest, and the most carefully 
considered report on the Facsimiles 
that has appeared to date. 1 Bishop 
Spalding gives short shrift to Deveria 
because, as he explains, "unquestion- 
ably, this matter is far too important 
to depend on the opinion of a youth- 
ful amateur. Such an important matter 
deserves the thoughtful consideration 
of mature scholars — of the world's 
ablest Orientalists. "- 

Youthful? When Deveria wrote his 
study of the Facsimiles he was 34 — 
two years older than Mercer was when 
he did the same — fully matured and 
at the height of his powers. 

Amateur? At 17, urged by the 
Egyptologist Jules Feuquieres, Deveria 
had plunged into Egyptology while 
Charles Lenormand gave him Coptic 

By Dr. Hugh Nibley 

Second String 

lessons and August Harle, the best 
Hebraist of his time, pushed him in 
Hebrew. At 19 he retranslated an 
important manuscript formerly ren- 
dered by Champollion; at 23 he was 
publishing in Egyptology and in the 
following year became attached to the 
Department of Antiquities of the 
Louvre, where he produced the first 
complete catalogue ever made of a 
major Egyptian collection. Still in his 
twenties, he succeeded the great 
Mariette as conservator of the Egyptian 
museum in the Louvre and, according 
to de Rouge, produced a work on the 
Turin Papyrus that "placed Deveria 
among the masters." It was only the 
jealousy of his superior at the museum, 
A. Mariette, that obscured his great 
contributions to Egyptology.''' 

Thoughtful consideration? Whereas 
Deveria wrote a long study, two of 
Spalding's experts dashed off notes of 
a hundred words only, and five of 
them wrote less than a page. 

World's ablest Orientalists? Spal- 
ding deems superior to Deveria four 
men besides Mercer, whose combined 
output in Egyptology could not begin 
to " approach that of the "youthful 
amateur." We have already considered 
Dr. Mercer; how about the others? 

"Dr. John Peters, University of 
Pennsylvania. In charge of expedition 
to Babylonia, 1888-1895." In 1912 Dr. 
Peters (1852-1921) was pastor of a 
church in New York, and had not been 
at the University of Pennsylvania for 
20 years. When Spalding's good 
friend, Professor Pack, discovered this, 
he was quite upset and wrote: "For 
an instant I was paralysed. . . . Could 
it be possible that Dr. Peters is not 
connected with the University of 
Pennsylvania, but is a rector in one of 
New York's fashionable churches? No. 
I could not believe it. . . . you had led 
the public to believe that Dr. Peters is 
at the University of Pennsylvania." 1 
So while he was back East Dr. Pack 

August 1968 


made a number of visits and inquiries, 
and summed up the results thus: 
"Now, Dr. Spalding, this looks like 
plain deceit. Am I mistaken? Why 
did you lead the public to believe that 
Dr. Peters is now at the University of 
Pennsylvania when you knew that he 
left there twenty years ago? Why did 
you hide from the public the fact that 
Dr. Peters is a rector in your own 
church and has been for years?" 1 

To be sure, being the rector of any- 
thing need not prevent one from being 
also an Egyptologist, but Peters was 
never that. He had taught Hebrew at 
Pennsylvania for eight years, and he 
wrote popular books on the Bible and 
modern politics, but his name appears 
nowhere in connection with Egyptian 
studies. A career churchman, he had 
in 1912 just finished serving six years 
as canon-residentiary of the National 
Cathedral in Washington, D.C. 5 He 
is another of those devoted churchmen 
who, like Sayce and Mercer, combine 
with the dignity of the cloth an intel- 
lectual contempt for the supernatural 
and an ill-concealed impatience with 
those who would interpret the Bible 
too literally. Dr. Peters, in fact, wrote 
a book showing that the ancient patri- 
archs were nothing but myths, legen- 
dary figures "generously clothed with 
personal traits by successive genera- 
tions of narrators" by whom "striking 
episodes have been introduced into the 
stories and even romances which have 
no inherent connection with the origi- 
nal legends." Along with "racial and 
legendary" elements, the history of 
Abraham combines "features of a 
purely romantic character, in which 
we are to see no other meaning than 
the fancy of the story-teller. . . ." T 
In all the story of the man Abraham, 
he claimed, there is not a word of real 

With such a view of Bible history, 
is Dr. Peters the man to give serious 
attention to the Book of Abraham as 
history? Peters' ideas reflect the con- 
sensus of scholarly opinion in his day, 
and that of the Spalding jury in par- 
ticular. At that time the establishment 

"He combines with the dignity 
of the cloth an intellectual contempt 

for the supernatural. . . ." 

was solidly against the whole concept 
of the Book of Abraham. 

"Dr. Arthur C Mace, Assistant 
Curator, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 
New York, Department of Egyptian 
Art." Though he is not mentioned in 
any of the usual biographical sources 
nor in W. R. Dawson's Who Was 
Who in Egyptology, 1910-1914, Dr. 
Mace (1874-1928) had been a student 
of Petrie and had worked with the 
Hearst collection in Berkeley before 
going to the Metropolitan. 8 His chance 
for immortality came when Howard 
Carter, overwhelmed with work and 
expense on the tomb of Tutankhamen, 
asked for the assistance of a Metro- 
politan Museum crew who were work- 
ing close by; Mace at the time was 
taking Dr. Lythgoe's place in charge 
of the work, and on instructions from 
the latter he joined the Carter enter- 
prise and thus had a part in the most 
sensational archaeological discovery of 
the century. Dr. Mace was an archae- 
ologist and not a philologist. He 
assisted in the publication of discov- 
eries by and for the museum, but 
when he came to inscriptions, even 
short and easy ones, he turned the 
work over to others. 10 His one serious 
attempt to deal with documentary 
sources, a study called "The Influence 
of Egyptian on Hebrew Literature," 
(1922), is described by Raymond 
Weill as nothing but an inferior re- 
hash of Herrman Gunkel's work of 
1909 on the same subject. 13 

"Dr. Albert M. Lythgoe, Head of 
the Department of Egyptian Art of 
the Metropolitan Museum," should be 
added to the list, since Bishop Spal- 
ding intended to consult him instead 
of Arthur C. Mace, who was his under- 
study while he was abroad. Like Mace, 

Dr. Lythgoe (1868-1933) was a mu- 
seum man and a collector who had 
been a pupil of Wiedemann at Bonn 
and assisted Reisner in the field. "His 
finest achievement," according to his 
obituary, ". . . was the arrangement 
of the Egyptian Collection of the 
Metropolitan Museum of New York." 1 - 
Arranging collections is not the same 
thing as interpreting abstruse texts, 
and the long interview with Lythgoe 
in the New York Times reads almost 
like a burlesque of pompous scholar- 
ship: "To make very clear just how 
great a hoax the Mormon prophet 
perpetrated upon his people," Lythgoe 
explains to the reporters with magis- 
terial ease exactly how Egyptian 
symbolism originated and just what 
Egyptian religion is all about, as he 
readily identifies solar hymns in the 
Facsimiles, and twice refers to Fac- 
simile I as depicting the sacrifice of 
Isaac by Abraham. The whole baffling 
complex presented "no puzzle to Dr. 
Lythgoe," though his strange theories 
of Egyptian religion and his guesses 
about the Facsimiles found no echo 
even among the other members of the 
Spalding panel. 13 

"Dr. George A. Barton." When he 
was challenged by the Mormons, 
Bishop Spalding sought further sup- 
port from the learned and got it 
from Professor Barton (1859-1942), 
acknowledged minister of the Society 
of Friends (orthodox) 1879-1922, 
deacon 1918, priest 1919, D.D. 1924. 1 -' 
In 1912 Dr. Barton's book, The Heart 
o\ the Christian Message, had just 
gone into its second printing. "Permit 
me first to say," Professor Barton began 
his contribution to the Spalding 
cause, "that, while I have a smatter- 
ing of Egyptology, I am not an Egyp- 


improvement Era 

tqlogist" 15 — and indeed we have al- 
ready seen what Dr. Mercer thought 
of Barton as an authority on Egypt. 10 
But he was a minister, thus bringing 
to five the number of non-Egyptologist 
ministers sitting in judgment as 
Egyptologists on Joseph Smith. 

Barton believed that the "faker" 
Joseph Smith merely attempted to 
"imitate Egyptian characters," the 
result being "untranslatable ... as 
they stand they do not faithfully rep- 
resent any known writing." 17 As to 
the Facsimiles, the experts disagree 
about them, Mr. Barton explained, 
because "these pictures were differ- 
ently interpreted at times by the 
Egyptians themselves," and some of 
the jury "have given the original in- 
terpretation of the symbolism, and 
some the later Egyptian interpreta- 
tion." 17 Odd, that that explanation 
should never have occurred to any of 
the experts themselves, who might 
have been very embarrassed had the 
Mormons chosen to exploit Professor 
Barton's foolish remarks. 

P.S.: In 1915 the University of Utah 
brought in Edgar J. Banks, "one of 
America's most distinguished archae- 
ologists," to put the final seal of 
authority on the Spalding enterprise. 18 
Banks (1866-1941) had already 
sounded off on the subject in the 
Christian Herald in 1913, and duly 
reported through the pages of the 
prestigious Literary Digest that Dr. 
Spalding's zeal had forever discredited 
Mormonism in the eyes of the world 
and the more intelligent Mormons. 11 ' 
Mr. Banks pictured himself in Who's 
Who decidedly in the romantic tradi- 
tion of Richard Haliburton. He had 
been U.S. consul in Baghdad in his 
youth, organized an expedition to 
excavate Ur, which, however, never 
got into the field, and claimed to have 
discovered in 1903 "a white statue of 
king David, a pre-Babylonian king of 
4500 B.C. (oldest statue in the 
world)." While Spalding was working 
on his grand design in 1912, the dash- 
ing Banks, as he tells us, was climbing 
Ararat (17,210 feet high — he puts that 

in Who's Who too), and crossing the 
Arabian Desert on a camel (from 
where to where he does not say). 20 

It is amazing, unless one knows this 
type of glamor-mongering archaeolo- 
gist, that Mr. Banks, after months in 
Salt Lake City as an expert on the 
subject, could come out with such 
howlers as that "Smith seems to have 
obtained the documents from a sea 
captain," 21 that it was the Mormon 
officials themselves who "turned the 
manuscripts over to Spalding" with 
the request that he investigate their 
authenticity, 21 that hypocephali such 
as Facsimile 2 (of which less than 
50 were known at the time) existed 
by the millions: "It has been esti- 
mated that something like 20,000,000 
of Egyptian mummies have been dis- 
covered. . . . Beneath each mummy's 
head, [lay] a cushion. . . . The disks, 
found in great numbers, are nearly 
alike, varying only slightly with the 
period from which they come." 22 
Banks also announced that Joseph 
Smith had never possessed any papyri 
at all but only such little plaster 
disks. 23 Apparently nothing Mr. Banks 
could say was too absurd to be swal- 
lowed by the open-mouthed scholars 
on the Bench as long as the magic 
words "science" and "progress" were 
evoked with ritual regularity. 21 

We should not leave our experts 
without a word about Sir E. A. W. 
Budge (1857-1934), who in 1903 had 
agreed with his colleague Woodward 
at the British Museum "in declaring 
the Prophet's interpretation bosh, 
rubbish. . . ." 2r ' This was a demon- 
stration of Budge's "ferocious bark, 
which could turn to biting if need 
be." 20 Others could bark back, how- 
ever, and when Budge gave the 
Englishman Thomas Young priority 
over Champollion in the translation of 
Egyptian, an eminent French Egyp- 
tologist quoted Peter Renouf: "No 
person who knows anything of Egyp- 
tian philology can countenance so 
gross an error." 27 Jean Capart noted 
that the highest praise of Budge must 
also be his severest criticism — the 

phenomenal productivity for which he 
paid too high a price. 2S Animated by 
the laudable objective of providing as 
many texts as possible for students and 
as many translations as possible for 
the public, Budge dashed off the 
longest list of publications in the 
entire scope of Who's Who. 2S To do 
this he followed no plan, paid no 
attention to the work of others, never 
indicated his sources; "his interpreta- 
tion of figures is extremely defective," 
wrote Capart, "and his translations 
are full of completely erroneous 
ideas." 29 "I can categorically declare," 
wrote the same critic, of Budge's Gods 
of the Egyptians, "that it is bad; the 
work lacks the necessary prepara- 
tion." 30 As R. Campbell Thompson 
observed, Professor Budge was always 
"in too great a hurry to finish." 31 Will 
anyone maintain that he was not in a 
hurry, his old impulsive blustering 
self, when he offhandedly condemned 
the interpretations of the Facsimiles? 

It is still going on: If nothing else, 
our long involvement with the affair 
of 1912 has taught us something about 
the limitations of scholarship. We 
should know by now the meaning of 
the maxim, "there are no fields — there 
are only problems," with its corollaries 
that familiarity with a field does not 
mean mastery of all related problems, 
since no major problem is to be solved 
within the walls of any one depart- 
ment. Since closed systems are a fic- 
tion, the conclusions of science must 
remain tentative forever: ". . . the 
method of critical discussion does not 
establish anything [writes Popper]. Its 
verdict is always and invariably 'not 
proven. 3 - 

Consider for a moment the scope 
and complexity of the materials with 
which the student must cope if he 
would undertake a serious study of the 
Book of Abraham's authenticity. At 
the very least he must be thoroughly 
familiar with (1) the texts of the 
"Joseph Smith Papyri" identified as 
belonging to the Book of the Dead, 
(2) the content and nature of the 

August 1968 


mysterious "Sen-sen" fragment, (3) 
the so-called "Egyptian Alphabet and 
Grammar" attributed to Joseph Smith, 
(4) statements by and about Joseph 
Smith concerning the nature of the 
Book of Abraham and its origin, (5) 
the original document of Facsimile 1 
with its accompanying hieroglyphic 
inscriptions, (6) the text of the Book 
of Abraham itself in its various edi- 
tions, (7) the three Facsimiles as re- 
produced in various editions of the 
Pearl of Great Price, (8) Joseph 
Smith's explanation of the Facsimiles, 
(9) the large and growing literature of 
ancient traditions and legends about 
Abraham in Hebrew, Aramaic, Arabic, 
Greek, Slavonic, etc., (10) the studies 
and opinions of modern scholars on 
all aspects of the Book of Abraham. 

It will not do to consider just one 
or two of these areas before passing 
judgment on the Book of Abraham; 
yet so far nobody has done more than 
that. Who can hope to cover all that 
ground? Only a lot of diligent students 
with plenty of time and big libraries 
at their disposal. That is why we 
cannot accept as final the brief and 
scattered departmental studies of the 
Book of Abraham. It is not because 
we do not respect the knowledge and 
ability of the experts or because we 
feel in any way superior to them (the 
world will not see another Eduard 
Meyer until the millennium), but 
because the nature of the problem calls 
for infinitely more care and study than 
has been put into it. 

There are two propositions regarding 
the Book of Abraham that none can 
deny. The one is that Joseph Smith 
could not possibly have known Egyp- 
tian as it is understood today. The 
other is that the Prophet has put down 
some remarkable things in the pages 
of the Book of Abraham. Why should 
we waste time on Proposition Num- 
ber 1? What can we say about a 
method of translation that completely 
escapes us? This writer is anything 
but an Egyptologist, yet he has stood 
on the sidelines long enough to know 
that there is no case to be made out 

against the Book of Abraham on lin- 
guistic grounds for the simple reason 
that Joseph Smith did not commit 
himself beyond the interpretation of 
the Facsimiles. 33 We cannot pretend 
to understand how the Book of Abra- 
ham was translated, but that should 
not seriously disturb us, since nobody 
understands the method by which 
some of the greatest scholars were able 
to translate texts that no one else could 
read — one thinks of George Smith, 
Edward Hincks, and the late Francis 
Llewellyn Griffith. In their case, it 
was the result that justified the intui- 
tion, and not the other way around. 
So let it be with Joseph Smith: we 
must still take his word for it that he 
was actually translating, but the re- 
sult of his efforts is a different matter 
— could such a monument be the re- 
sult of trickery and deceit? It is Propo- 
sition 2 that provides us at last with 
firm ground to stand on — and none 
of the critics have ever given it a 
moment's thought! 

What Joseph Smith tells us about 
Abraham in the book attributed to 
him can now be checked against a 
large corpus of ancient writings, un- 
available to Joseph Smith, to which 
we shall often refer in the pages that 
follow. He has also given us, inde- 
pendent of any translated text, his 
interpretations of the three Facsimiles, 
and it is to these that we now address 
ourselves. It was in his explanation 
of the Facsimiles, it will be recalled, 
that our experts of 1912 were con- 
vinced that they had caught the 
Prophet out of bounds. But they were 
wrong: none of them knew nearly 
enough about the Facsimiles to pass 
judgment as they did. That we do 
not know the answers is beside the 
point, which is that present-day 
scholarship would reverse the funda- 
mental principle on which the authori- 
ties of more than half a century ago 
rested their conclusions, namely, the 
conviction that Egyptian writing is a 
good deal harder to interpret than 
Egyptian pictures. Actually, Mercer 
got it backwards when he said that 

The largest part of the 

consists of 

"while the translation of ignorantly 
copied hieroglyphs is a precarious 
proceeding, the interpretation of Egyp- 
tian figures is a comparatively simple 
matter." 34 For the beginner, to be 
sure, this is true; but as the student 
gets more and more of the grammar 
and vocabulary, the writing naturally 
becomes increasingly easier to read; 
but the pictures that once looked so 
simple and obvious become, alas, ever 
more puzzling, until we finally get 
to the top of the ladder where the 
full-fledged Egyptologists frankly tell 
us that the reading of a text is far 
easier than the correct understanding 
of symbolic pictures. 

A hundred years ago Maspero and 
Naville agreed that "a philologically 
easily understood sentence, the words 
and grammar of which give us not 
the slightest difficulty," often conveys 
ideas that completely escape all the 
experts, these being also the ideas 
behind the pictures. 35 And today 
Professors Wilson and Anthes would 
concur in the same view. The latter 
calls attention to our "helplessness in 
the face of these mythological records," 
both "texts and pictures," 30 while Dr. 
John A. Wilson suggests the amusing 
analogy of an Eskimo who had never 
heard of the Bible trying to make 
sense of the old hymn "Jerusalem the 
Golden"; he "might grasp the indi- 
vidual meanings of all the words . . . 
but he would still be puzzled by the 
allusions. . . . We have similar trou- 
bles in trying to apply our under- 
standing to the religion of the ancient 
Egyptians, which dropped out of 
human ken for more than 1500 
years." 37 The ancient pictures have a 
face value that is clear enough to us 
and to the Eskimo, but what they said 


Improvement Era 

...papyri in the possession of the Church 

fragments from the Egyptian 
Book of the Dead. . . ." 

to an Egyptian is another matter. 

The Mormons were not slow in 
calling attention to this fatal limita- 
tion to the understanding of the Fac- 
similes: "I repeat," wrote Dr. John A. 
Widtsoe, "that something more must 
be done than to label a few of the 
figures Osiris, Isis or Anubis before 
Joseph Smith can be placed in 'the 
same class of fakers as Dr. Cook.' " 3S 
The mere names tell us nothing un- 
less we can also tell "who and what 
were Isis and Horus and all the other 
gods of Egypt? Not by name and rela- 
tionship, but as expressing the Egyp- 
tian's vision of . . . the past, the 
present and the hereafter?" 30 Sjodahl 
and Webb asked similar questions, 
but the Mormons were ignored be- 
cause they were not Egyptologists. Yet, 
shortly before, Georg Steindorff had 
written: "We know relatively little 
about Egyptian religion in spite of the 
abundance of pictures and religious 
texts of ancient Egypt which have 
come down to us. We know, it is true, 
the names and the appearances of a 
large number of divinities, we know 
in which sanctuaries they were hon- 
ored, but until now we have but few 
notions about their nature, and the 
significance which the people and the 
priests gave to them and the legends 
attached to their persons." 40 And to- 
day Jaroslav Cerny can still write: 
"For the Old and Middle Kingdom 
there are hardly more than proper 
names to give us a glimpse into the 
beliefs of the common people and 
their relationships to the gods," 41 
while Jequier points out that the 
"shocking contradictions" in the in- 
terpretation of religious imagery "show 
us that we have not yet found the 
truth." 42 There is nothing for it, says 

Jequier, but for each scholar to con- 
tinue on his way, "each interpreting 
in his own manner and according to 
his means . . . and so gradually pene- 
trate the mystery of the Egyptian 
religions." 42 These were the very 
points that the Mormons were trying 
to make and that the opposition, 
determined at any price to give the 
impression of great and definitive 
knowledge, quietly ignored. 

The Book of the Dead: The largest 
part of the Joseph Smith papyri in 
the possession of the Church consists 
of fragments from the Egyptian Book 
of the Dead, the fragments having 
been recently translated and discussed 
by no less a scholar than Professor 
John A. Wilson of the Oriental Insti- 
tute. 43 "Scholars had barely begun 
the study of the Book of the Dead," 
Edouard Naville recalled, "when they 
saw that the text swarms with diffi- 
culties . . . the prevailing mysticism, 
the abundance of images, the oddity 
of the pictures, the impossibility of 
knowing how the Egyptians expressed 
even the simplest abstract ideas — all 
offer formidable obstacles with which 
the translator is continually col- 
liding." 44 

These points can be illustrated by 
the most easily recognized section of 
the Joseph Smith papyri, namely, the 
fragment with the picture of a swal- 
low, Chapter 86 of the Book of the 
Dead. It is, according to the rubric 
(the title in red ink), "A Spell for 
Becoming a Swallow." But what do 
we find? To this day Egyptologists 
cannot agree on just what is meant by 
"spell" — is it a recitation? an ordi- 
nance? an act of meditation? an incan- 
tation? merely a chapter? Neither does 

anyone know for sure in what sense 
the "transformation" is to be under- 
stood — whether it is a change of form, 
a transmigration, imitation, moment 
of transition, passage from one world 
to another, mystic identification, ritual 
dramatization, or what not. And what 
about this business of becoming a 
swallow? In the same breath the 
speaker announces that he is a scor- 
pion, and after the title there is 
nothing in the text that even remotely 
suggests anything having to do with 
a swallow — literal, typological, alle- 
gorical, or mystical. Certainly what 
the subject does is most unswallow- 
like and unscorpion-like as he ad- 
vances on his two legs and stretches 
forth his two arms in the accepted 
human fashion. 4 " Strangely, the titles 
are often easier to understand than 
the sections that go with them, as if, 
Thomas George Allen points out, the 
two were of different origin and his- 
tory. 40 

Such confusion may in part be 
explained by the alarming fact that 
the ancient scribes who produced 
these documents were often unable to 
read what they were writing. By the 
twenty-first dynasty, Naville noted, 
the ignorance of the scribes reached 
the point (toward which it had long 
been steadily tending) of complete 
miscomprehension of their own texts, 
betrayed by the common habit of 
copying entire sections backwards! 47 
"Even in their original state," how- 
ever, Professor Allen assures us, "the 
sanctity of the spells proper was fur- 
thered by intentional obscurities," 48 so 
that no matter how far back we go 
we will always be in trouble. 

At all times, W. Czermak observes, 
"the concrete wording of the Book of 
the Dead is illogical and fantastic," 
but its religious sense, he insists, is 
not; if we confine our researches, 
therefore, to the examination of the 
text, as almost all students do, we are 
bound to get nowhere. 49 This is not 
a paradox: the divine words don't 
need to make sense in order to be 
taken seriously. For some years this 

August 1968 




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writer taught classes of Moslem stu- 
dents who gloried in the thrilling 
sound of the Koran while resenting, 
some of them fiercely, any suggestion 
that a mortal listening to those words 
might possibly understand their mean- 
ing — their incomprehensibility was a 
stamp of divinity. 

The Book of the Dead is a huge 
Chinese puzzle. In the first place, no 
two copies arc just alike and most of 
them differ widely, so widely, in fact, 
that if we were to gather together all 
the materials in all the various copies 
and reconstruct from them a single 
standard text, "the whole would make 
an ensemble that would be hard to 
reproduce and even harder to use." 30 
The pictures often have nothing to do 
with the texts they accompany, and 
sometimes illustrate things not found 
in the book at all. 51 Texts and pic- 
tures (they are usually called 
vignettes) were usually done by dif- 
ferent persons, and "generally speak- 
ing, the beauty of the vignettes runs 
counter to the goodness of the text." 32 
By the same token some of the most 
beautifully written texts are among 
the worst in grammar and spelling, 
for everything seems to go by mere 
appearances, so that the relation be- 
tween the effectiveness of a certain 
spell and the actual contents of the 
spell is "often incomprehensible." 53 
Texts were valued long after their real 
meaning was lost from sight because 
"the magical use of these old religious 
texts is based on their external aspects; 
it is magic, not religion that loves 
learned obscurity, actually taking 
pleasure in what is incomprehensible 
because of its mysterious allure." 54 
This means that the documents defy 
classification, each being "an agglom- 
eration of texts related in content 
but coming from different epochs and 
backgrounds." 55 

Anything Goes! Since the Egyptians 
were, as is well known, the most con- 
servative of people, and since funerary 
rites, as is equally well-known, belong 
to the most tradition-bound and 

Improvement Era 

". . . each individual was free to impose 
his private taste and his personal 
history into the record 
whenever he saw fit." 

conservative department of human 
activity, it is quite baffling to find 
just in this particular branch of this 
particular culture what seems to be a 
total lack of official or social control. 
Everything is up to individual choice: 
some vignettes drawn to order for a 
particular buyer might in the end be 
bought by somebody else ordering 
completely different texts to go with 
them;"' 1 sometimes a text chosen by 
one person would catch the fancy of 
others who would order the same for 
themselves; 57 individuals would for 
their private funeral texts "borrow, 
apparently without a qualm, many of 
the Pyramid Texts, including their 
implications of royalty," while at the 
same time blithely composing new 
chapters on the spot to suit their 
fancy. r,s If a person did not under- 
stand an old text, that made little 
difference — he would simply latch on 
to something in the manuscript that 
caught his fancy, even if it was only 
a single word or symbol, and put it 
down for its magical use/' 9 "Some- 
times a space was kept blank for a 
vignette which was to record some 
special feature of the deceased. "°° As 
to the order in which the texts oc- 
curred, there was no fixed order, and 
different general arrangements were 
popular at different periods. 01 

It will be useful to keep all this in 
mind when we consider the Facsimiles, 
which have been brushed aside as 
"typical" Egyptian funerary docu- 
ments, though uniqueness is a 
conspicuous characteristic of such 
documents, and the Facsimiles are 
among the strangest. Completely 
counter to what one would expect in 
an ancient and venerable tradition of 
ritual documentation, each individual 

was free to impose his private taste 
and his personal history into the 
record whenever he saw fit: ". . . each 
copy," according to T. G. Allen, "com- 
prised a collection of spells both 
selected and arranged on a more or 
less individualistic basis." 6 - And this 
goes for the oldest funerary monu- 
ments as well as the latest crude 
papyri: "Not one of the mortuary 
Temples hitherto excavated has proved 
to be an exact replica of any other 
known example. " e3 Typical is the 
representation of the rite of the open- 
ing of the mouth, depicted in some 80 
tombs over a period of more than 1500 
years: all but seven of the tombs offer 
only "an extremely curtailed repre- 
sentation," no single tomb shows the 
entire rite, and what one tomb shows 
another does not; also, during the long 
centuries of transmission "no syste- 
matic variation" appears. GI 

It was at first assumed that the 
Book of the Dead was a ritual text, 
and Champollion gave it the name of 
the Egyptian Funeral Ritual; but that 
interpretation was given up when it 
was recognized that no ritual is de- 
scribed: There is not a single mention 
in the Book of the Dead of anything 
that the dead person or any priest or 
any member of the family is required 
to do/ 15 Taken as a whole or a part, 
"one gathers the impression that the 
compilers of the Book of the Dead 
included any religious material suit- 
able for recitation as a spell regardless 
of its contents. " GG 

As an illustration of this puzzling 
unconventionality, we may take the 
best-known picture from the Book of 
the Dead, the well-known judgment 
scene or "Psychostasy," a fine example 
of which is found among the Joseph 

Smith papyri. This judgment of the 
dead is the sort of thing that any 
amateur expert could explain at first 
glance, but those with experience tell 
us that "we do not even know what 
significance it may have had for the 
dead." 07 Though the scene occurs in 
many copies of the Book of the Dead, 
it is by no means found in all of them, 
and it would seem that "not all the 
dead are required to stand judgment." 07 
What is more, there is no indication 
anywhere that standing trial success- 
fully will lead to any kind of blessed- 
ness, nor any certainty whatever about 
what is supposed to happen to the 
wicked in the hereafter; and except 
for its occasional representation in the 
Book of the Dead, the idea of judgment 
is nowhere so much as hinted at in all 
of the Egyptian documents. 08 The 
dead person is tried for 42 sins: "How 
strange!" cries Naville, "the 42 sins 
are not the same in all the texts." 09 

We often read of transformations, 
the capacity of the dead to assume 
whatever form he will, "but not all 
the dead take advantage of this privi- 
lege and nothing obliges them to do 
so." 09a Transmigration may be indi- 
cated, "but there is no doctrine of 
compulsory transmigration." 70 In fact, 
in all this vast literature of the 
beyond, "there is neither a system nor 
any definite ideas about the fate of 
the dead beyond the grave. ... In the 
Book of the Dead the goal is as un- 
certain as is the way to get there. . . . 
there is no compulsion and no neces- 
sity." 71 Down through the centuries 
of tradition there is not the slightest 
indication "of any authoritative 
transmission of theological interpreta- 
tions." 7 - And yet, in spite of this lack 
of controls, we cannot learn from 
these sources what the Egyptians 
really thought of death, for all 
thoughts on the subject such as occur 
in their secular writings have been 
rigidly excluded. 7 " The one safe, or 
at least what Gardiner calls the "most 
valuable," guideline to the under- 
standing of Egyptian texts, that is, 
"the logic of the situation," is denied 

August 1968 


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jam in a refrigerator or freezer. It can 
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If kept at room temperature, it will 
mold or ferment in a short time. Once 
a container is opened, the jam should 
be used within a few days. 

NOTE: If jam is too firm for serving 
when opened, it can be softened by 
stirring. If it tends to separate, stirring 
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us here in this timeless, spaceless story 
without a development and without a 
plot. 7i 

The Book of the Dead stands in line 
of descent of a very ancient corpus of 
writings beginning with the Pyramid 
Texts. The so-called Coffin Texts, 
standing midway between the Pyramid 
Texts and the Book of the Dead, "con- 
tain in about equal number 1 ' chapters 
found on the one hand in the Pyramid 
Texts and on the other in the Book 
of the Dead, while there are many 
passages in the Coffin Texts that are 
found in neither of the other two, 75 
some of these being nonetheless just 
as old as the Pyramid Texts them- 
selves. 70 "The Coffin Texts," says 
Lacau, "overwhelm us with un- 
answered questions," 77 mostly the 
same questions that confront us in the 
Book of the Dead. 78 It seemed to 
Breasted that "the priests to whom 
we owe the Coffin Text compilations 
allow their fancy to roam at will," so 
that "it is difficult to gain any co- 
herent conception of the hereafter 
which the men of this age hoped to 
attain." 79 

Thus, we see that the problems of 
the Book of the Dead are not merely 
the result of decadent and sloppy 
thinking; in fact, the same problems 
meet us in the very beginning, where 
the priests of Heliopolis in compiling 
the Pyramid Texts selected those 
"sayings" which they considered most 
desirable for particular individual 
kings. su The Pyramid Texts were used 
in ritual, but already "the Coffin texts 
have deserted the firm ground of 
ritual," presenting a "kaleidoscope of 
ideas that do not reflect the cult but 
are very free." 81 Though the Coffin 
Texts differ widely from coffin to cof- 
fin and follow no plan of organization, 
they do all have certain ideas in 
common, according to Louis Speleers, 
namely, (1) the idea of a physical 
resurrection and a spiritual existence 
in eternity, and (2) the reception of 
the dead by Osiris. 82 The doctrine of 
Osiris lies at the heart of the business, 
yet in all of Egyptian literature "no 

Improvement Era 

The view that "the Book of the Dead 

is nothing but. . .fantastic ideas" is the easy 
way of "escaping a humiliating confession 
of ignorance. . . ." 

systematic exposition of this myth is 
known," 83 and we would know 
nothing whatever about it were it not 
for the remarks of some poorly in- 
formed Greeks. Sf As in the Book of 
the Dead, the coffin text owner is al- 
ways going somewhere, "but where he 
is going on his long road is not to be 
clearly discerned from the spells."* 5 
"Yet there is method in 't": The 
scholars who condemned the Fac- 
similes in 1912 by labeling them 
scenes from the Book of the Dead 
never bothered to answer the urgent 
question of J. M. Sjodahl, "What is 
then the Book of the Dead?" 8 " The 
question is still in order. Since the 
beginning, "the idea has prevailed 
that the Book of the Dead is nothing 
but a conglomeration of fantastic 
ideas,' 1 but that, as leading Egyptolo- 
gists are pointing out today, was just 
the easy way of escaping a humiliating 
confession of ignorance and a crushing 
commitment to years of hard work. 87 
As a result, "the 'illogic' of the Egyp- 
tians has almost become an article of 
faith in our science — much to its 
loss." 88 We have been told ad nau- 
seam that things that supposedly 
intelligent Egyptians took seriously 
were "unmitigated rubbish," 8 " that 
Egyptian religion is "inarticulate, 
fuzzy, and incoherent from the logical 
point of view," 90 that "the mentality 
of the East" will forever escape us 
logical Westerners, 91 that the Egyp- 
tians "like all primitives emerging 
from the night of prehistoric times 
had yet to discover and explore 
the real world," 02 that "ancient Egyp- 
tian religion was a motley mixture of 
childishly crude fetishism and deep 
Philosophic thought," 93 "... a hotch- 
potch of warring ideas, without real 

unity of any kind." 04 

Perhaps the most enlightening dis- 
course on this theme is that of Pro- 
fessor Louis Speleers, who in his work 
on the Coffin Texts takes the Egyp- 
tians to task with great feeling for 
holding religious beliefs that clash at 
every point with the teaching of 
Roman Catholic scholastic philosophy. 
He is shocked to find among the Egyp- 
tians "the total absence of the idea of 
an Absolute Being," but in its place the 
concept of a God who is "but man on 
a higher scale." 9 ""' Their unpardonable 
sin is to prefer concrete to abstract 
terms: they "ignore the Absolute 
Good" to describe eternal bliss "in 
terms of earthly objectives." 90 In 
their thinking, "everything is as ma- 
terial and concrete as the Christian 
metaphysic is abstract and spiritual." 97 
Even worse, if possible, they fail to 
place rigorous logic before all other 
considerations: "These ancients al- 
ways proceed by simple affirmation 
and negation. . . . They don't think, 
they only 'feel' ... no critical sense, 
no method." 98 Thus, they "expect 
to live forever with their neighbors 
and the delights of material things 
while at the same time sharing the 
life of gods and spirits." 99 "It is as if 
the principle of contradiction . . . did 
not exist for them." 100 Disgustingly 
egocentric, too, with the individual 
clinging to his personal identity 
throughout the eternities; 101 which is 
highly unscientific to the bargain, 
what with the "transposition of earth- 
ly things to a divine existence and of 
a dead person to another world . . . ," 
and otherwise "accepting the most 
improbable miracles, denying the laws 
of nature as we understand them." 102 
It all bespeaks "a disorder of the 

brain . . . which provokes in us a 
horror of everything that offends our 
more or less innate sense of logic." 10 " 
"As to their cosmology . . . there is 
nothing in common between certain 
of their cerebral conceptions and our 
own intellectual operations"; where 
Christian thinking "applies the most 
rigorous logic," the Egyptian "accepts 
the most shocking contradictions," of 
the most "rudimentary and childish 
thinking." 101 

Significantly enough, Dr. Speleers 
admits that the early Christians were 
guilty of the Egyptian type of think- 
ing, regarding heaven and hell, for 
example, as definite places, "and it 
was only in the course of the Middle 
Ages [that is, thanks to the efforts of 
Scholastic philosophy] that they were 
recognized as a 'psychic state' of hu- 
man existence."" 1 ""' And even as the 
Egyptians could not think of existence 
without some physical base, "one must 
recognize that the Christians them- 
selves could not free themselves from 
this idea until a certain period of time 
had passed, and even then only to a 
certain degree." 11 "'' To bring out their 
glaring contrast, Professor Speleers 
places certain of his own beliefs side 
by side with their Egyptian oppo- 
sites; and given the choice between 
the two, there can be little question 
but that the Latter-day Saint would 
choose the Egyptian version every 
time. Indeed, at the present time, 
Catholics are becoming rather cool to 
the appeal of Scholastic philosophy, 
and many Egyptologists are beginning 
to ask whether the Egyptians were 
such fools after all. As examples of 
some of his own impeccable logic. 
Speleers tells us how "God through 
the mediation of his creatures becomes 
aware of that which He is not," 107 and 
how the human soul "requires to be 
resurrected in a body, but . . . purged 
of all necessity of organs." 108 And he 
calls the Egyptians confused! 

From the very first there were emi- 
nent Egyptologists who suspected that 
people as clever as the Egyptians could 
not possibly have been as anti-logical 

August 1968 


as they seem to be from their writings. 
What we have in the texts, they 
argued, must represent the breakdown 
of a religion which in the beginning 
was entirely logical. 109 The most 
widely accepted explanation for all the 
confusion was the well-known deter- 
mination of the Egyptians to throw 
nothing away: ideas, images, and 
stories originating in remote times and 
places were all welcomed by the Egyp- 
tian community and retained side by 
side, with ingenious efforts to explain 
their clashing coexistence and, when 
these failed, a good-natured and per- 
manent hospitality, that "liberal" or 
"additive" attitude that allowed room 
for everybody in the temple. 110 

Along with this, we have today an 
increasing tendency to seek the ex- 
planation of many paradoxes not in 
Egyptian intransigence but in our 
own ignorance of what was really 
going on. "We cannot subscribe," 
wrote Henri Frankfort, "to the preva- 
lent view that . . . the Egyptians held 
a number of incompatible ideas in 
hazy or muddleheaded confusion," 
this false idea being "founded on a 
discrepancy between our own outlook 
and the views and intentions of the 
ancients." 111 Alan Shorter seconds 
this: "We are apt to stigmatize as 
'contradictory' ' the apparently con- 
fused ideas which run through . . . 
many Egyptian texts, when perhaps 
it is ourselves who are interpreting 
them too literally." 112 F. Daumas lays 
down some rules to be observed in 
the reading of Egyptian religious 
texts: (1) Assume a minimum of 
errors in a text, always giving the 
Egyptians instead of ourselves the 
benefit of the doubt. (2) "Believe 
that if we do not understand it is 
because we are badly informed, rather 
than imputing a shortage of intelli- 
gence to the Egyptians. . . . Let us not 
be hasty to condemn what on first 
sight looks chaotic and confused." 11 ' 5 
It was for failing to observe these 
principles, it will be recalled, that 
Professor Mercer was taken severely to 
task by his reviewers. 111 "Our atti- 

'I have never met a specialist," 

wrote Professor Anthes, 
who did not have the highest respect 
for the Egyptian craftsman. . . .' 

tude to the Egyptians," wrote Daumas, 
"has been that of children who find 
their parents to be outmoded and old- 
fashioned and conclude from that that 
they must be absolute nincompoops"; 
to fall back on Egyptian unreason to 
explain what we cannot understand 
is not a sound practice: "it is a vessel 
that leaks on all sides, and it leads 
quickly ... to the conviction that the 
Egyptians were utterly stupid." 115 In 
the same vein the eminent Egyptol- 
ogist Adrian de Buck chided those 
who find fault with the Egyptian 
language as primitive and defective: 
the real fault with the language of the 
Egyptians, de Buck points out, is, after 
all, simply that it is not our lan- 
guage. 110 

"I have never met a specialist," 
writes Professor Anthes, "who did not 
have the highest respect for the Egyp- 
tian craftsmanship, and all agree in 
classifying the best Egyptian work as 
perfect in form and timeless in 
appeal." Moreover, Anthes continues, 
we judge Egyptian military and 
political history by the same measures 
we use for modern history, never 
claiming Egyptian leaders to be naive 
or primitive in their thinking. In 
everything militarily they come up to 
the highest standards and often sur- 
pass the best the later world can 
produce. Yet we give these same 
people no credit for brains whatever 
when it comes to the subject that 
interested them most, religion! 117 A 
century ago E. Revillout called atten- 
tion to this strange bias. 118 What is 
behind it? Anthes and Frankfort 
suggest not a different level of intelli- 
gence but a different method of solving 

We get neat final solutions to our 

problems by isolating them in arti- 
ficially closed systems. Thus we find 
a tidy correlation between the con- 
sumption of cholesterol and heart 
disease and immediately announce 
that all cholesterol is deadly. We 
get quick answers by drastic over- 
simplification. The Egyptian, on the 
other hand, "did justice to the com- 
plexity of the problem by allowing a 
variety of partial solutions." 110 After 
a statement in a funerary text, for 
example, it is common to find the 
phrase, "Some say this means so-and- 
so .. . ," followed by another, "Others 
say it means so-and-so . . . ," and so 
on, the reader being given his choice 
among a number of "official" explana- 
tions. 1 - What we have here is "liber- 
ality in dogmatics rather than inability 
to think clearly." 121 Why settle for a 
final answer before we know all the 
facts? If two pieces of the jig-saw 
puzzle did not fit together, the Egyp- 
tians did not, as we so often do, 
pronounce one of them to be a fraud 
and throw it away, but they allowed 
for the possibility that there might be 
missing pieces that in the end would 
link up the two apparent contra- 

This attitude some have called the 
"multiplicity of approaches": "An- 
cient thought . . . admitted side by 
side certain limited insights which 
were held to be simultaneously 
valid." 122 Hence, "quasi-conflicting 
images should not be dismissed in the 
usual derogatory manner," 123 since 
they are expressions of "the habit of 
using several avenues of approach to 
subjects of a problematical nature." 121 
The modern single-line approach is 
neater and easier to understand, but 
the history of Christian dogma has 


Improvement Era 

shown only too clearly how brittle and 

bigoted its solutions are. O 

(To he continued) 


1 TheoduIe Deveria, "Fragments de Mss. 
Funcraires Egyptiens considercs par les Mor- 
mons comme les memoires autographes 
d' Abraham," in Memoires et Fragments (Paris: 
Leroux, 1896), published in Bibliotheque 
Egyptologique, Vol. 4 (1896), pp. 195-202; 
see also "Specimen de l'lnterpretation des 
Ecritures de l'ancien Egypte," ibid, pp. 165ff. 

-Franklin S. Spalding, Joseph Smith as 
Translator, p. 19. 

^All this from the biography by his brother, 
Gabriel Everia, "Notice Biographique de 
Theodule Deveria (1831-1871)," in Bibliothe- 
que Egyptologique, Vol. 4 (1896), pp. 

4 77ie Improvement Era, Vol. 16 (1913), pp. 

"Who's Who in America, 1912, p. 1648. 
lj J. P. Peters, Early Hebrew Story ( New 
York: Putnam's, 1904), p. 129. 

nbid., p. 143. 

,v His work on mummy bandages while with 
the Hearst Egyptological expedition of the Uni- 
versity of California is noted by G. E. Smith, 
in Annales du Service, Vol. 7 (1906), p. 157. 

"Howard Carter and Arthur C. Mace, The 
Tomb of Tutankhamen (New York: Cooper 
Square, 1963), Vol. 1, pp. 107-9. 

■"Arthur C. Mace, The Tomb of Scnebtisi 
(New York: Metropolitan Museum, 1916), p. 
35, note 1 : "The greater part of these transla- 
tions is due to the kindness of Dr. Alan H. 
Gardiner." Since the only inscriptions in the 
tomb were very short and easy ones, one 
wonders why Dr. Gardiner was needed to 
translate "the greater part" of them, and how 
much would be left to the genius of Dr. Mace. 
So also Carter and Mace, op. cit., Vol. 1, 109: 
". . . Dr. Alan Gardiner kindly undertook to 
deal with any inscriptional material that might 
be found." 

"Raymond Weill, in Revue Egyptologique, 
Supplement 1950, p. 48. 

1:; Obituary in Journal of Egyptian Archaeol- 
ogy, Vol. 20 (1934), p. 107. 

1:s New York Times, Dec. 29, 1912, magazine 

^'Who's Who in America, 1924-25, p. 331. 

*'Era, Vol. 16 (1913), p. 613. 

™Era, Vol. 71 (May 1968), p. 57. 

17 George A. Barton, quoted in Era, Vol. 16 
(1913), p. 774. 

ls Quote is from a Christian Herald article 
given at length in Literary Digest, July 10, 
1915, 15. 67, where also Banks is quoted: 
"Lately I have been delivering a series of lec- 
tures under the auspices of one of the depart- 
ments of the University of Utah. 

l '-'Ibid., p. 66: "The knowledge of such facts 
is working like a leaven. . . . The Board of 
Regents of the University of Utah, avers Pro- 
fessor Banks, is 'predominantly Mormon' and 
'making desperate efforts to check the growth 
of progress," etc. 

-"Who's Who in America, 1924-5, pp. 303-4. 

21 Banks, op. cit. 

--Quoted in Era, Vol. 16 (1913), p. 774. 

-'''". . . the inscriptions are not upon papyrus, 
but upon small clay objects. . , ." Banks, loc. 

- 4 See his sanguine remarks quoted in Era, 
Vol. 16, p. 774 75. "At the close of one of 
the lectures a bright young Mormon student 
accompanied me to the club where I was 
stopping. He asked about Joseph Smith's 
translation of the Egyptian inscriptions, for he 
remembered the discussion of two years ago. 
He is now a Mormon only in name. A Mor- 
mon gentleman . . . showed me about the 
Temple grounds. He was ashamed of his 
religion . . . and he represents the younger 
generation of Mormons," Banks, op. cit. 

-'^Reported in Era, Vol. 16, pp. 341ff, and 
Deseret News, Dec. 19, 1912, p. 4. 

- C R. Campbell Thompson, in Journal of 
Egyptian Archaeology, Vol. 21 (1935), p. 

= 'E. Andersson, in Sphinx, Vol. 12 (1909), 
p. 237. 

"Thompson, loc. cit.; J. Capart, in Bidletin 
critique des Religions de I'Egypte (Brussels, 
1905-1913), p. 25. 

L>!1 Capart, op. cit., pp. 26-28. 

30 Ibid., p. 25. 

™Ibid., pp. 68f, noting that Budge "early 
relinquished" the writing of articles and turned 
out instead about 120 Oriental books. His 
work "undeniably does show this haste." 

^Karl R. Popper, Federation Reports of the 

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American Society for Experimental Biology, 
Vol. 22 (1963), p. 970. 

33 In translating the Book of Abraham 
Joseph Smith apparently made no use of 
any of the fragments of the Book of the 
Dead now in possession of the Church; the 
so-called Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar 
has never enjoyed any official status; the 
connection between the Book of Abraham 
and the "Sen-sen" papyrus remains a mystery: 
see our preliminary remarks in BYU Studies, 
Vol. 8 (Spring '1968), pp. 245-54, and 
Dialogue, Vol. 3, No. 2 (Summer 1968), pp. 

M S. A. B. Mercer, in Utah Survey, Vol. I, 
p. 25, and Era, Vol. 16, p. 612. Cf. Mercer in 
Spalding, Joseph Smith as Translator, p. 29. 

:tr Edouard Naville, Das Aegxjptische Todten- 
buch der XVIII. bis XX Dynastie. Einleitung 
(Berlin, 1886), p. 2; Gaston Maspero, in 
Bibliotheque Egyptologique, Vol. 1 (1893), p. 

30 Budolph Anthes, in Artibus Asiac, Vol. 20 
(1957), p. 92. 

37 John A. Wilson, in Dialogue, Vol. 3, No. 2 
(Summer 1968), p. 71. 

^Widtsoe, Era, Vol. 16, p. 618. 

■nbid., p. 457. 

'"'Georg Steindorff, Baedeker's Guide to 
Egypt and the Sudan (Leipzig, 1908), pp. 

•"Jaroslav Cerny, Ancient Egyptian Religion 
(London: Hutchinson's University Library, 
1952), p. 54. 

42 Gustave Jequier, Considerations sttr les Re- 
ligions Egyptiennes (Neuchatel: 1946), pp. 

43 Wilson, op. cit., pp. 67-85. 

"Naville, op. cit., p. 2. 

4n Wilson, op. cit., pp. 79-80. 

40 Thomas George Allen, The Egyptian Book 
of the Dead (University of Chicago Press, 
1960), p. 3. 

47 Naville, op. cit., p. 41; cf. E. A. W. Budge, 
Egyptian Religion, p. 45. 

^Allen, loc. cit. 

1B W. Czermak, in Ztschr. f. Aeg. Sprachc, 
Vol. 76 (1940), p. 10. 

^Naville, op. cit., p. 11. The various texts 
and interpretations were introduced with no 
idea of trying to "add to a composite design," 
R. Anthes, op. cit., p. 93. 

ra Naville, op. cit., pp. 38-39. 

r,2 Theodore M. Davis, The Funeral Papyrus 
of Iouiya (London: Constable, 1908), p. 1. 

ca Hans Schack-Schackenburg, Das Buch von 
den Zwei Wegen des seligen Toten (Leipzig: 
Hinrichs, 1903), p. 9. Thus the magnificent 
Turin Papyrus "swarms with every kind of mis- 
take," Naville, op. cit., p. 3. 

w Schack-Schackenburg, op. cit., p. 10. 

■"'Etienne Drioton, in Archiv fuer Orient- 
forschung, 12 (1959), p. 261. ". . . an 
arrangement of the manuscripts in classes and 
lines of descent is not possible, so that we 
must fall back on an eclectic method," Her- 
mann Grapow, Das 17. Kapitel des aegyptis- 
chen Totenbuches ( Inaugural-Dissertation, 
Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universitaet, Berlin, 1912), 
p. 51. 

•""Naville, op. cit., pp. 38-39. 

■■•Ibid., p. 40. 

^Thomas George Allen, in Journal of Near 
Eastern Studies, Vol. II (1965), p. 177. 

■"'"Hermann Kees, Der Goetterglaube im alten 
Aegypten (Leipzig: Hinrichs, 1941), p. 254. 

ll0 Davis, op. cit., p. 2. 

'^Naville, in Bibliotheque Egyptologique, Vol. 
1 (1893), p. 25. 

*'~ Allpn loc cit 

03 I. E.'S. Edwards, The Pyramids of Egypt 
(Penguin Books, 1952), p. 114. 

M S. Bjerke, in Numen, Vol. 12 (1965), pp. 

""Richard Lepsius, Aelteste Texte des Toten- 
buches (Berlin, 1867), p. 6; Edouard Naville, 
Das Aegptische Todtenbuch, p. 19. 

°°Alan Shorter, The Egyptian Gods (London: 
K. Paul, 1937), pp. 64-65. 

flT Naville, op. cit., p. 22. 

as Loc. cit., and Alfred Wiedemann, The An- 
cient Egyptian Doctrine of Immortality of the 
Soul (New York: Putnam's, 1895), pp. 55- 
57; Naville, op. cit., p. 22. 

<*>Ibid., p. 26. 

^Ibid., p. 22. 

70 Wiedemann, op. cit., p. 66. 

"'Naville, op. cit., p. 21; cf. Wiedemann, 
pp. 49f: "The Egyptians never attained to 
any clear idea of the Osirian underworld; the 
same confusion and obscurity reigned over it 
as over the whole conception of the unseen 
world and of deity. . . . each was at liberty 
to form for himself a more or less modified 
conception of the characters of the under- 

72 Rudolph Anthes, in Artibus Asiae, Vol. 20, 
p. 95. 

73 E. Suys, in Orientalia, Vol. 1 (1932), p. 
65, noting that the average Egyptian seems 
to have been rather skeptical about the whole 

74 Alan Gardiner, Egypt of the Pharaohs, 
p. 24. 

75 Pierre Lacau, in Receuil des Travaux, Vol. 
26 (1904), p. 59. 

70 H. Kees, Aegyptischen Totenglaube, p. 255, 
noting that the content of the Coffin Texts in 
general suggests "freely selected pieces from a 
corpus of Pyramid Texts." 

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77 Lacau, op. cit., p. 61. 

78 Capart, Bulletin Critique des Religions dr 
VEgypt (1904) p. 31, quoting Lacau. 

Ttl james Breasted, Religion and Thought in 
Ancient Egypt (London, 1912), p. 278. 

w) Kees, op. cit., p. 15. According to Kees, 
not only the Book of the Dead but the Coffin 
Texts and Pyramid Texts as well are all 
"entirely disorganized collections of unrelated 
sayings," p. 14: 

m R. Anthes, in Ztschr. fuer Aegyptische 
Sprache, Vol. 82 (1958), pp. 7-8. 

82 Louis Speleers, Textes des Cercueils (Brus- 
sels, 1946), xxxii. 

S3 J. Cerny, Ancient Egyptian Religion, p. 35. 

^For a recent estimate of the limitations of 
Greek knowledge on the subject, see Gardiner. 
Egypt of the Pharaohs, pp. 1-10. 

^Hans Schack-Schackenburg, Zweiwege- 
buch, p. 15, noting also (p. 11) that the real 
meaning of the "Two Ways" was entirely lost 
by the Middle Kingdom. 

80 T. M. Sjodahl, in Era, Vol. 16, p. 331. 

CT W. Czermak, in Ztschr. f. Aeg. Sprache, 
Vol. 76 (1940), p. 9. 

^Czermak, in Archiv fuer Aegyptische 
Archaeologie, Vol. 1 (1938), p. 205. 

S9 Gardiner, speaking of certain hymns, in 
Revue Egyptologique, Vol. 11 (1957), p. 55. 

»Weffi, in Egyptian Religion, Vol. 3 (1935). 
p. 121. 

91 Wilhelm Kaiser, in Orientalische Litera- 
turzeitung, Vol. 58 (1963), p. 341, citing 
Hermann Junker. 

92 Weill, op. cit., p. 119. 

'-"Wiedemann, op. cit., p. 1. 

"H. R. Hall, in Journal of Egyptian Archae- 
ology, Vol. 1 (1914), p. 77. 

il5 Louis Speleers, Textes des Cercueils, pp. 
Ixii, Ixx. 

M Ibid., pp. Ixx, xxxi, xix, xviii. 

,J1 Ibid., p. xxxii. 

^Ibid., p. Ixviii; also, "no concern for 
ontology or causality," p. Ixix. 

'■''■'Ibid., p. xviii. 

^°°Ibid., p. lviii. 

lm Ibid., p. Ixx. 

J02 Ibid., pp. lxii-lxiii, lxix. 

w *Ibid., p. lxxiii. 

w 'Ibid., pp. lxiv, xxxi: In short, "their 
cosmology is simplistic; they do not state 
clearly what they mean by life and nature," 
but simply accept such things as given quanti- 

'"'•Ibid., p. xvii. 

w6 Loc. cit. They accept "the most im- 
probable miracles" (p. lxix), and "persistently 
confound the body and soui" (p. Ixx). These 
are stock charges of the ancient pagan 
philsophers against the early Christians. 

101 Ibid., p. xxx. 

™*Ibid., p. ix. 

109 S. G. Maspero, in Bibliotheque Egyp- 
tologique, Vol. 1 (1893), p. 124. 

110 W. Kaiser, in Oriental. Literaturzeitung, 
Vol. 58 (1963), p. 342, discussing the theories 
of Herman Junker, Die Geisteshaltung der 
Aegypter in der Friihzeit (Vienna: Boehlau, 

1U H. Frankfort, Ancient Egyptian Religion. 
pp. 91, 125. 

112 A. Shorter, The Egyptian Gods, p. 86. 

113 F. Daumas, in Revue dc I'Histoire des 
Religions, Vol. 160 (1961), pp. 147-48. 

™Era, Vol. 71 (June 1968), pp. 20-21. 

115 Danmas, op. cit., pp.) 139-40. 

118 Adrian de Buck, in Chroniques d'Egypte. 
Vol 23 (1947), pp. 26, 28, 34. 

11T Rudolf Anthes, in Mitteilungen der 
deutschen Orient-Gesellschaft zu Berlin, No. 96 
(Sept. 1965), pp. 5-6; cf. Journal of the 
American Oriental Society, Vol. 74 (1954), 
p. 36. 

118 E. Revillout, in Ancient Egypt, Vol. 1, p. 
103, noting also ibid., pp. 31-65, that Egyptian 
piety in no way differs from orthodox Christian 
piety in nature. 

""Frankfort, op. cit., p. 91. 

120 According to Anthes, in Artibus Asiae, 
Vol. 20, p. 95, this formula is "no allusion to 
any authoritative transmission of theological 
interpretation," but rather acknowledges the 
validity of individual judgment. 

131 Anthes, in Journal of the American 
Oriental Society, Vol. 74, p. 39. ". . . it was 
dogma, and not the transmission of earlie: 
myths. . . ." 

122 Frankfort, op. cit., p. 4. 

12 -Ibid., p. 19. 

12i Ibid., pp. 9 If. The idea is discussed by 
R. Anthes, in Zf. /. Aeg. Sprache, Vol. 80 
(1955), p. 85; and Vol. 78 (1954), p. 53; 
H. Kees, in Totenglauben . . . der alien 
Aegypter, reviewed by H. Wall-Gordon, in 
Revue Egyptologique, Vol. 13 (1961), p. 145. 

Improvement Era 


Conducted by the 
Church School System 

Than It Has Ever Been 

By Jim Johnston 
Instructor, Calgary Institute of Religion 

• As a small girl walked past the 
cathedral that she always passed on 
her way to and from school each day, 
the clock in the steeple chimed the 
hour; but, apparently broken, it didn't 
stop after striking 12 — it kept on: 13, 
14, 15, 16, and on it went. The little 
girl, becoming somewhat alarmed, ran 
home quickly. As she entered her 
home, she shouted to her mother, 
"Mommy, it's later than it's ever been 

My shout, echoing the cry of this 
little girl and that of our Church lead- 
ers, is that the hour is later than it 
has ever been before. Again with 
emphasis: There never has been a 
time when more has been demanded, 
when more has been required, and 
when more pressure has been exerted 
than that which is facing young people 
today. Never before has their time 
been at so great a premium. Never 

before has Satan had at his disposal 
such devices for exploiting youth — 
mass media, drugs, clothing styles, 
transportation — all used to lead young 
people away from the paths of 
righteousness and the gospel-centered 
life. These are not just any young 
people — these are our young people. 

Never before has there been a time 
when the Lord has needed his helpers 
— all teachers in the Church — to be 
better prepared to fortify, strengthen, 
and encourage the youth against 
temptation and evil. The time given 
us to teach the youth right principles 
and right situational responses is just 
the same as always — too short. The 
time element increases the challenge 
that we, as teachers, have when we 
contemplate brightening the horizons 
of those who come or are brought by 
force or habit to learn from us. 

With this awareness that the time 

we share with students is preciously 
short, what are we doing to make 
our classes purposeful? Does each 
lesson strike a meaningful note for 
each class member that helps him to 
sing better the song of this life? Do 
we direct the lesson to every member 
of the class, or do we make the lesson 
appeal only to the eager learners? It 
is easy to teach the front-row few in 
class, but what about those who are 
far away from the Church — that 
troublemaker who has driven every 
other teacher nearly to tears? I think 
it was Billy Sunday who said: "It is 
better to be 100 feet from hell headed 
away from it than 1,000 miles away 
headed toward it." No matter what 
our students have done in their past, 
or how meager their understanding of 
the gospel, we can help them direct 
their actions in the right path. The 
key to effectiveness in the classroom 

August 1968 


stems from our genuineness in as well 
as out of class. Our personal involve- 
ment and our concern for students 
are shown in such things as inviting 
students into our home, putting our 
arm around the discouraged boy, at- 
tending sports events and cheering 
for their team. 

Elder Marion D. Hanks, in a gen- 
eral conference address in October 
1967, provided this admonition about 
youth: "How can we help them? We 
can be more consistent in our lives. 
We can provide a better example. We 
can repent. We can obey the com- 
mandments of God. We can teach 
them." (The Improvement Era, Decem- 
ber 1967, p. 67.) Yes, we can teach 
them, but not all our teaching can be 
done the same way. One of the most 
effective ways to teach comes through 
personal involvement. 

Do we really know what a few well- 
chosen words can do to change the 
attitudes and eventual actions of those 
within our influence? Here is a speci- 
fic case in which personal concern by 
a teacher really paid off: 

In my boyhood in southern Idaho, 
a gimmick was used in Primary to 
encourage everyone to participate more 
fully in singing. When this method 
was employed, we were dismissed to 
go to our classes according to the row 
or class that the chorister thought had 
done the best job of singing that day. 
As an uncooperative Primary boy, I did 
not want to sing, nor did I like to sing. 
However, I did like to be in the first 
row to be dismissed. 

After several weeks of not putting 
my all into participating, it occurred 
to me that by enthusiastically moving 
my lips, the chorister would think I 
was singing. I tried it and persuaded 
others sitting near me to do the same. 
Not realizing that people read lips, it 
was much to my chagrin that my 
row was the last one dismissed to go 
to class that day, and I felt we had 
been unfairly ranked. 

After Primary that afternoon, as I 
came charging out of the door on my 
way home, the good sister who was 

Teachers may make two kinds 

of mistakes: forge through the lesson 

no matter what, 
or succumb to distraction from the lesson. 

chorister stopped me and, putting her 
arm around me, spoke kindly, "Jimmy, 
our Father in heaven loves you, and 
when we sing in Primary we are tell- 
ing him how much we love him. Don't 
you love Heavenly Father?" That is all 
she said, but I still remember how I 
wanted Heavenly Father to know that 
I loved him, so I started singing after 
that. Now I love to sing, and I give 
much of the credit to a teacher who 
cared enough to put her arm around 
a little boy who didn't want to sing 
in Primary — just a little event in a 
child's life, but it is indicative of the 
influence a good teacher can have on 
those in her charge. 

Now, how many young people do 
we bring closer to the fold by our 
concern for them individually? Few, I 
am sure, unless we get deeper than 
mere concern. We must be able to 
view situations from the eyes of our 
students. Do we listen to the records 
that the class members find so enter- 
taining? Do we go to any of the 
dances, ball games, plays, debates, 
festivals, or other activities that they 
are concerned with? Do we cheer their 
wins and regret their defeats? 

What about the student who ruins 
the class for the teacher and everyone 
else? Realistically, though, who is 
really at fault when a child is disrupt- 
ing a class? The easiest response is 
to blame the apparently unmanageable 
youth. But, as a matter of fact, we 
must empathize with the child and 
determine if the lesson is really 
worthy of his attention. By "worthy," 
the consideration is not subject matter 
but rather whether we are approach- 
ing the lesson in such a way that we 
are meeting the needs of the students, 
including our troublemaker. 

When a student with angry words 
causes embarrassment and tension in 
the class, this is his SOS for help. 
This is where we and, if possible, other 
members of the class need to be his 
friends. Determining what is best 
for him may require a special prayer- 
ful summit meeting between us and 
our class officers, superintendent, 
bishopric, or selected individuals who 
we know will be willing to be helpful. 

It is often the best thing for the 
class if someone dares to raise his 
voice in a question that we might con- 
sider trivial or out of line. This may 
be the same question others in the 
class have in their hearts but are re- 
strained from asking because of anxiety 
feelings, and could serve as material 
for a lively discussion that may really 
be helpful to students. Are we one of 
the guilty teachers who make sure 
that every word in the manual is quoted 
verbatim to the class, regardless of 
what the class may already know about 
the subject? Was the subject made for 

Teachers may make two kinds of 
mistakes. The first is to forge through 
the lesson material no matter what, 
even at the sacrifice of time to answer 
questions. The other is to be so easily 
distracted that if someone gets them 
started on their favorite subject they 
never come close to the lesson 
material at all. Church teachers need 
to be more student-oriented while at 
the same time taking full advantage 
of the subject matter that is to be 
presented. The worth of souls is 
great, and a teacher will surely be 
accountable if he doesn't put forth 
the requisite effort to satisfy and meet 
the purpose of his vital stewardship. 
He is the one charged by a calling 


Improvement Era 

from a representative of the Lord to 
do that which no one else can do. He 
is bound to have difficult days now 
and again, but they will be far fewer 
if he uses the time to meet student 
needs with the lesson material and 
not just pour out the gospel to vessels 
that are unprepared. 

As teachers, we should increase our 
love for the scriptures. The scriptures 
tell us of our duty to our class mem- 
bers: "And as all have not faith, seek 
ye diligently and teach one another 
words of wisdom. . . ." "Let him that 
is ignorant learn wisdom by humbling 
himself and calling upon the Lord his 
God. . . ." (D&C 109:7; 136:32.) 

The most effective lessons are those 
that are intended to leave students 
with one or two points well understood 
and not ten topics to which they have 
been introduced but with which they 
are not sufficiently acquainted to in- 
corporate them in life. A teacher's 
responsibility is to give the best pos- 
sible lesson geared to his students' 
needs in the time that is available. 
How do we find out what the student 
needs are? This comes most naturally 
from personal involvement and kin- 
ship to each class member so that 
we will know him or her. It may be 
advantageous to use a card with in- 
formation about every student so that 
we know who his parents are, how 
many brothers and sisters he has, 
what he likes to do — hobbies, goals, 
scholastic attainments. 

Sure, it will require a few more 
hours from us, but it is worth it when 
we can feel good about teaching people 
we know rather than just teaching a 
class of children in the ward. When 
Billy comes in and creates such a fuss 
that the attention of the whole class 
is centered on him, we know that he 
is starved for attention and love as 
we draw him into the lesson. Know- 
ing this, we will react differently. 
Possibly we will place him in a focal 
point of attention by saying, "What 
do you think it was like, Billy, to push 
a handcart all the way across the 
plains?" No matter what the student's 

August 1968 




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42WEST2ND. SOUTH • DA 2-1039 


response is, we can, by effective ques- 
tioning and looking right at him, draw 
from him comments that build the 
lesson rather than destroy the lesson 

When we fulfill this responsibility of 
meeting students' needs, helping them 
to feel it is their class, then we are 
"catering" the gospel to them — that 
is, making the gospel tasty, palatable, 
meaningful, and desirable. If what we 
are doing is not for our students, then 
we should certainly make a serious 
evaluation of why we are going 
through the ritual of dispensing our 
own pearls of gospel wisdom. If, in 
our evaluation of what we are doing, 
we find that we are lacking, we must 
not follow the paths of least resistance 
and quit; rather, we should improve 
what we are doing so that our experi- 
ence, as well as that of our students, 
will be worthwhile and meaningful. 

With class time so short, a wise 
teacher is sensitive to the needs of 
his students and knows which needs 
only he as the teacher can meet dur- 
ing each class period. Knowing each 
student helps make it easier to heed 
the Spirit. A teacher shouldn't be like 
Nephi's brethren, who were so insensi- 
tive that when spoken to by the still, 
small voice they were "past feeling." 
(See 1 Ne. 17:45.) A good clue is the 
student who lags behind the others 
when class is dismissed. Often this 
student needs some personal counsel, 
and the teacher should give it to him. 
By going beyond a simple concern 
for the outlined lesson and the class 
in general, he may find an under- 
standing of students' needs beginning 
to develop; he is learning to "apply 
the gospel." What a joy it is to hear a 
student say, "You must have been 
inspired! That lesson was just what 
I needed today — it was an answer to 
my prayer." This openness and con- 
cern will also open to the teacher the 
Spirit that can give light and the direc- 
tion. But remember, the teacher must 
do the preliminary research. (A great 
deal of effective teaching comes from 
what others see us do more than from 

Improvement Era 

what they may hear us say.) 

As teachers, we are responsible for 
those charged to our tutelage. Can 
we ever dare to say to ourself, "Oh, it 
is just another Sunday School class; 
they can't expect me to be interesting 
all the time," or "It is all right for me 
just to read through the lesson for the 
first time ten minutes before class 
starts. After all, they are just 
children." That is the point: they are 
children — children of our Father in 

heaven, a loving Father who has sent 
them to this probationary state to 
learn and to progress. To learn what? 
To learn specifically what we as teach- 
ers are charged by a calling to teach. 
And what is that? To teach the 
children "all that they must do to 
live with him once more." Oh, the 
time is short. It is later than it's ever 
been before. 

As teachers, we must do our best, 
and make class time meaningful. 

"Train up a child in the way he should 
go: and when he is old, he will not 
depart from it." (Prov. 22:6.) This is 
part of our responsibility as teachers. 
Parents allow their progeny to be 
guided by us for a few hours of their 
lives, and the time is almost too short 
to accomplish our task. It is later 
than it has ever been before, but it is 
not too late to teach with a purpose 
and accomplish that which we have 
been called to do. O 

With Monday Zeal 

fit . 

By Othelia Lilly 

She rinsed each thought before 

she hung it out 

to air before her neighbors, 

friends, or kin. 

Clean ivas the wash of mind 

they viewed or felt. 

She looked to the laundry of 

her oivn within. 

Richard L. Evans 

The Spoken Word 

"Above the catastrophies 

It is not often," said Charles Henry Parkhurst, "that a joy reaches so 
deep a place in men's hearts as a sorrow does; defeat touches men 
in a way that victory does not. . . . Everything is stamped with its 
cost-mark." 1 But among the most tragic of tragedies are those from 
which there are no lessons learned. And so, besides all else, there should 
be some earnest searching, and from that searching perhaps repentance- 
repentance if and where there has been too much of irresponsible per- 
missiveness, too much loosening of law, too much of blaming things on 
others; too much forgetting of God, of leaving him out of our lives; 
too much forgetting of his commandments; too little of living them. God 
grant that in our searching we may never forget our dependence on 
Divine Providence. "Righteousness exalteth a nation . . ." 2 —and we 
shall not be exalted, indeed shall be laid low, without righteousness and 
justice, and without keeping his commandments. "And seeing the multi- 
tudes, he went up into a mountain: . . . and taught them, saying, Blessed 
are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are 
they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: 
for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and 
thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merci- 
ful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they 
shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called 
the children of God." ;i God be thanked that "above the catastrophes 
of life . . . abide . . . the quietness and strength of his unfaltering pur- 
pose and wisdom and . . . grace," 1 this day— and always. 

>CharIes Henry Parkhurst, Sermon on [President James A.] Garfield, Sept. 25, 1881. 
-'Prov. 14:34. 
r 'Matt. 5:1-9. 

#■ "The Spoken Word" from Temple Square, presented over KSL and the Columbia 
Broadcasting System June 9, 1968. Copyright 1968. 

August 1968 





By Florence 
B. Pinnock 

• To swing or not to swing is the 
question on this hot August day. 
If you decide to lie in a hammock 
and let your problems fade, in all 
fairness a gentle breeze should 
sway you to and fro. Some prob- 
lems need action in order to be 
solved, others require time, and 
still others are solved by merely 
swinging on a summer day. A 
person needs to be alone at times, 
especially in hot weather. Crowds 
and humidity and high tempera- 
tures seem to multiply problems. 
One woman may find peace in a 
garden swing, another in swinging 
a golf club. Either motion soothes. 
One can discover solace from a 
gently stirred cradle, in the swing- 
ing motion of a plane, a boat, a 
car, or a patio hammock. 

Too many people feel guilty in 
repose. Constant motion seems to 
be their aim. To be able to sit 
down with hands relaxed is a talent 
to be developed, especially by an 
overworked mother of small chil- 
dren. Learn to unwind and savor 
the moment. To really live is to 
feel, and this can come in moments 
of repose. 

The popular word "jogging" 
doesn't seem to fit in the heat of 
an August day. If one jogs, let him 
do it very early or very late in the 
day. If mountains are to be 


Improvement Era 

1 tablespoon 


climbed, let a full moon light the 
way. If floors are to be scrubbed, 
windows washed, gardens weeded, 
or errands run, let dawn and dusk 
be the time. Summer should be a 
season of leisure, not one of hurry 
and scurry. 

Even food preparation need not 
send a mother to the kitchen for 
hours on end. Planning done in 
the hammock one day can ready 
the week's menus. Shopping one 
evening for 21 meals gives a feel- 
ing of security to the homemaker. 
Leftovers from one meal, plus a 
little ingenuity, can lighten the 
load for the next meal. Early 
morning food preparation leaves 
the day free for swinging in the 
shade, with just a few minutes re- 
quired before dinner to get the 
food on the table. 

Perhaps August was made for 
one to discover himself. It is a 
time in between— 31 days to dream 
dreams, to savor each relationship, 
to look into your children's eyes 
and glance behind their words, and 
to find joy in being alive. All this 
savoring of summer will add a 
twinkle to your own eyes and 
erase the bags under them. It will 
add a lilt to your step that will 
carry you into autumn with a glow 
that will attract and an energy that 
will accomplish. 

Cook Cool on Hot Days 

Food can be prepared— and it 
can be very palatable— without the 
aid of a hot stove. As you swing 
and sway in a hammock and 
stretch and relax on a patio, think, 
cook, and plan your menus with- 
out stress. Just mix-and-chill is a 
hot day's way of preparing a meal. 
Try some of these cool treats for 
hot days and hot nights. 

Creamy Coleslaw 

(iy 2 quarts) 

1 envelope onion salad dressing mix 
V4 cup vinegar 

2 tablespoons water 
% cup salad oil 

% cup mayonnaise 
iy 2 pounds shredded cabbage 
Vi cup chopped green pepper 

Add the salad dressing mix to the 
vinegar, water, and oil as directed on 
envelope. Gradually blend into the 
mayonnaise. Combine with the cabbage 
and green pepper. Toss lightly. 

Special Chicken Salad 

(3 cups) 

2 cups cooked, diced chicken 
Y 2 cup halved seeded grapes 
y 2 cup diced celery 
% cup slivered almonds 

1 teaspoon prepared mustard 

1 teaspoon lemon juice 

1 teaspoon sugar 
Y 2 teaspoon salt 
Dash of coarse pepper 
3 /4 cup dairy sour cream 

Combine the chicken, grapes, celery, 
and almonds. Blend together the 
mustard, lemon juice, sugar, salt, and 
pepper. Gently mix in the sour cream. 
Fold the dressing into the chicken 
mixture and chill well. 

Duo Salad 

(6 servings) 

pound sliced summer sausage, cut 

in bite-size pieces 

pound bologna, cut julienne style 

cup diced celery 

tablespoons pickle relish, drained 
V4 cup sliced green onions 
1 can (16-ounce) pork and beans in 

tomato sauce 
1 can (16-ounce) garbanzo beans, 


V4 cup Italian dressing 

Combine the first 7 ingredients. Chill. 
Mix vinegar with dressing. Just before 
serving, pour the dressing over the 
salad mixture and toss lightly. Serve 
on lettuce. 

Mandarin Salad 

Arrange well-drained mandarin oranges 
on greens; sprinkle with toasted 
slivered almonds. Serve with French 

Dieter's Dressing 

(iy 4 cups) 

1 can (IOV2 ounces) condensed beef 

2 tablespoons chili sauce or ketchup 
2 tablespoons vinegar 

1 tablespoon grated onion 
1 ounce crumbled blue cheese 

Combine all ingredients. Shake well 
and serve over green salad. 

Quick Fruit Salad Dressing 

(1 cup) 

Mix 4 teaspoons instant orange break- 
fast drink and 1 cup mayonnaise; let 
stand 5 minutes. Stir and serve over 

Soup on the Rocks 

(3 or 4 servings) 

Pour condensed beef broth straight 
from the can over ice cubes. Season 
with Worcestershire sauce and a dash 
of pepper. Garnish with a slice of 

Tomato Frost 

(3 or 4 servings) 

1 cup tomato juice 

2 tablespoons lemon juice 
iy 2 tablespoons sugar 
Onion salt to taste 

Dash of pepper and cloves 
2 cups cold milk 

Combine all ingredients and blend 
with blender or beater. Sprinkle with 
nutmeg. Serve immediately. 

Pink Vichyssoise 

(3 or 4 servings) 

can frozen condensed 
potato soup, thawed 
soup can light cream 
1 cup chilled tomato juice 
Seasonings to taste 

cream of 


In blender or mixer combine ingredi- 
ents. Beat until smooth. Serve imme- 
diately in chilled bowls. 

August 1968 


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(2 or 3 servings) 

1 can condensed tomato soup 
1 cup water 

1 tablespoon olive oil 

2 tablespoons vinegar 
1 clove garlic, minced 

1 cup finely chopped cucumber 
Y 2 cup finely chopped green pepper 
% cup finely chopped green onions 

Combine the soup, water, oil, vinegar, 
and garlic. Chill for at least 4 hours. 
Serve in chilled bowls. Pass chilled 
vegetables and crisp croutons for 

Kaye's No-Bake Orange Cookies 

1 can (small) frozen orange juice 

1 7-ounce package vanilla wafers 

1 square butter 

1 package powdered sugar 

1 cup chopped nuts 

Crumb the vanilla wafers. Mix all in- 
gredients together, form into balls, 
and roll in coconut. 

Kaye's No-Bake Date Cookies 

20 large marshmallows, cut in pieces 

1 cup coconut 

1 cup chopped nuts 

1 cup dates, cut up 
2 / 3 cup sweetened condensed milk (do 
not use evaporated milk) 

1 cup graham cracker crumbs 

Mix marshmallows, coconut, nuts, 
dates, and milk together; form into 
balls, and roll in the graham cracker 
crumbs. If you double the recipe, you 
can use the whole can of milk. 

Strawberries on Stems 

Wash berries, leaving the hulls and 
stems on. Chill. Arrange on individual 
plates; pass a bowl of sour cream 
and brown sugar to use as a dip. 

Quick Birthday Cake 

Frost one of the new frozen three-layer 
cakes with no-cook fudge frosting and 
decorate with chocolate shot. 

No-Cook Fudge Frosting 

4 or 5 squares unsweetened chocolate 
Y 3 cup butter 

1 cup maple-flavored syrup 
314 cups sifted powdered sugar 

2 teaspoons vanilla 

Melt the chocolate and butter over 
very low heat; remove from heat and 
stir in syrup. Beat in half of the sugar. 
Add remaining sugar and vanilla; beat 
until smooth. Let frosting stand a few 
minutes. If it is not of spreading con- 
sistency, add a small amount of water 
if it is too thick or more powdered 
sugar if it is too thin. O 

Improvement Era 



By Florence J. Johnson 

Flowers, cheery letters, cards, and little thoughtful gifts are 
usually sent to friends who are ill. I have received them myself 
and enjoyed them during lonely hours. 

I have another way to cheer my ailing friends. I let them 
know that I am thinking of them and wishing that good health 
would soon return with something a little different, something 
special. I send sick-a-bed pillows. 

It started when a young friend was quite ill. She found it 
difficult to sleep, and she tossed restlessly on her white-sheeted 
bed. Her favorite color was pink. 

I found a couple of pillows, a round one and a square one, 
marked down because they were a bit shopworn. I took off the 
original covers and put on new ones of washable material in a 
bright, rosy pink. The covers were zippered so they could be 
laundered easily. They really made a hit. 

"It was like sleeping on a pink cloud," my friend told me later, 
when she was on the road to recovery. 

From then on I shopped for pillows of all sizes and shapes, 
and for remnant pieces of material. I never give pillows shaped 
like stuffed animals to be used as toys. Mine are practical 
pillows to tuck under the shoulder, to sleep on, and to encourage 
pleasant dreams. 

The materials I use are always light, soft, and dainty. Dark 
reds and blues, bright hot orange, and purple are taboo, and 
prints are too busy. One cannot rest and relax if he is following 
a design with restless, feverish intensity. Solid colors and an 
occasional check or stripe are more restful. 

An older friend was ill during the hot summer months. For 
her I chose two pillows of a shade of green that was like a thick, 
turfed lawn after a summer rain— cool and refreshing. Into her 
pillows I slipped a pine-scented sachet. This is something I do 
only when I know my friend likes a particular fragrance. In the 
closeness of a sick room, scents become cloying and distasteful. 

Throw pillows, I find, can be used after the illness as a 
decorative touch on the bed or on the davenport in the living 
room with new covers matching the room's color scheme. 

Are you at a loss to know what to give a friend who is ill? 
Try sick-a-bed pillows. 


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August 1968 

2511 S.W. Temple » Salt Lake City, Utah 84115 



Presiding Bishop 

Talks to Youth 



By Bishop John H. Vandenberg 

# Some 800 years before the birth of 
Christ, the prophet Joel saw our time, 
with its attendant challenges. He saw 
that it was to be a period when "wicked- 
ness is great." He described our 
situation as a people in this way: 
"Multitudes, multitudes in the valley 
of decision: for the day of the Lord is 
near in the valley of decision." (Joel 

Joel's prophecy is certainly being 
fulfilled, for we are "in the valley of 
decision." The challenges of our 
present day require that we be decisive 
and not drifting hither and thither 
between the "world's way" and the 
"Lord's way." The Lord needs people 
who have totally committed them- 
selves to following him. Following the 
Lord requires total and courageous 
commitment. In fact, he has said, 
"He that is not with me is against me." 
(Matt. 12:30.) We can see the truth 
of this statement evidenced as we 
reflect upon Cain, Judas, or Laman. 
Each of these men was well-acquainted 

with the ways of the Lord; but as each 
stood "in the valley of decision," he 
failed to commit himself to following 
the Lord. 

On the other hand, a commitment 
to that which is right is the companion 
of greatness. No man has ever be- 
come content and successful without 
first totally deciding to do that which 
was right. 

A vivid example is found in the life 
of Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln is now 
considered a great man; he is quoted 
and looked to as a symbol of courage 
and hope. Yet, in spite of his present 
honor and fame, "Lincoln knew toil. . . . 
He knew cold and hardship . . . want 
and hunger . . . nature chastened him. 
She taught him that she cannot be 
deceived, or cheated, . . . [and] gave 
him an honesty of his very bone and 
muscle." Lincoln could, in today's 
terminology, be very properly termed 
"underprivileged." Yet, though he 
knew poverty and pain, he also learned 
what is right— and he accepted those 

principles that he knew were right. 
Even though a great portion of the 
country violently disagreed with him, 
Lincoln fought, inspired, and was 
eventually killed for his unwavering 
commitment to what he saw was 

Lincoln commented on the reason 
for his decision in these words: "That 
the Almighty does make use of human 
agencies and directly intervenes in 
human affairs is one of the plainest 
statements in the Bible. I have had 
so many evidences of his direction, 
so many instances when I have been 
controlled by some power other than 
my own will, that I cannot doubt that 
this power comes from above. ... I 
am satisfied that when the Almighty 
wants me to do, or not to do, a par- 
ticular thing, he finds a way of letting 
me know it." 

Lincoln was great because, as he 
stood "in the valley of decision," he 
chose the right. 

In The Church of Jesus Christ of 
Latter-day Saints, the Lord expects and 
requires that we constantly live by the 
truths of the gospel. In a very real 
sense it's impossible to be a part-time 
Saint. Youth of the Church, be not 
involved in cheating in your activities 
or disrespecting your parents. A per- 
son cannot associate with practices 
that he knows are wrong, such as 
smoking, drinking, immorality, and 
dishonesty, and then conduct his 
Church assignment with honor and 
dignity. This we would call hypocrisy. 

As we search the scriptures we can 
see that the Lord respects and chooses 
men who are committed to that which 
they believe. A paramount example 
of this can be seen in the Lord's 
calling Saul of Tarsus into his service. 

Saul was a man impelled by his 
convictions. If he believed something 
was right, he was entirely devoted to 
it. No doubt he felt he was right in 
ridding the country of what he believed 
to be heretical Christians. His zeal 
in this effort was so intense that the 
author of the book of Acts described 
his mistaken devotion with this strong 


Improvement Era 

language: "And Saul, [was] yet breath- 
ing out threatenings and slaughter 
against the disciples of the Lord. . . ." 
(Acts 9:1.) 

Even thougn Saul's commitment 
was to the wrong thing, the Lord 
realized that if Saul were committed 
to the true cause, his zeal would be 
just as intense. As Saul was journey- 
ing to Damascus in pursuit of the 
Christians, the Lord came to him and 
said, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest 
thou me? 

"And he said, Who are thou, Lord? 
And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom 
thou persecutest: it is hard for thee 
to kick against the pricks." 

And then without hesitation or dis- 
belief, Saul asked, "Lord, what wilt 
thou have me to do?" (Acts 9:4-6.) His 
decision was immediate, and the rest 
of his life is a witness that it was 

Saul's commitment to the gospel 
made him a great missionary. These 
words that he wrote to Timothy indi- 
cate how complete his commitment 
was: "For God hath not given us the 
spirit of fear; but of power, and of 
love, and of a sound mind. 

"Be not thou therefore ashamed of 
the testimony of our Lord, nor of me 
his prisoner: but be thou partaker of 
the afflictions of the gospel according 
to the power of God." (2 Tim. 1:7-8.) 

The world today is groping for men 
who have committed themselves to 
the truth to the degree that they do 
not have "the spirit of fear; but of 
power, and of love, and of a sound 

The Lord's call to Saul indicates 
how the Lord desires that men and 
women commit themselves and then 
are true to their decisions. This need 
of a total commitment is also inferred 
in this passage in Revelation: "I know 
thy works, that thou are neither cold 
nor hot: I would thou wert cold or 

"... I will spue thee out of my 
mouth." (Rev. 3:15-16.) 

How does a person come to the 
point where he can totally commit him- 

self to living the gospel? Is it enough 
just to know what the Church teaches? 
Is believing that the Church is true 
an adequate basis for a firm commit- 
ment? Or is there something in addi- 
tion that is required? 

Possibly an examination of the 
ministry of Simon Peter, an apostle 
of the Lord, can help us answer these 
queries. Peter knew the Lord inti- 
mately. He had associated very closely 
with him for three years. Peter had 
confessed openly his belief and under- 
standing of who the Master truly was. 
Yet at the trial Peter denied his asso- 
ciation with the Lord. And after the 
crucifixion, Peter, lost and dismayed, 
said: "I go a fishing. . . ." (John 21:3.) 

It wasn't until Peter received the 
witness of the Holy Ghost and then 
consciously decided to commit himself 
to the Lord's work that he was able 
to courageously preach Christ Jesus in 
the house of rulers, in the streets, in 
prison, or wherever. His total commit- 
ment was evident at Pentecost and 
from then throughout his ministry. 

For us, the process of commitment 
is the same. We must gain the wit- 
ness of the Holy Spirit as to the divin- 
ity of the gospel, and then we must 
consciously and deliberately decide to 
live by the principles of the gospel of 
Jesus Christ. This final step is im- 
portant; a commitment isn't an auto- 
matic, isolated event. We can only 
commit ourselves in a conscious and 
deliberate fashion. With Saul we must 
ask: "Lord, what wilt thou have me to 
do?" Then we must carry out the 
desires of the Lord. 

When a young man makes a state- 
ment of righteous intention in the pres- 
ence of his peers, he will by reason 
of that commitment usually act 

Committing ourselves to the gospel 
isn't necessarily an easy process. Yet 
you and I cannot become great in the 
kingdom of God without so doing. As 
we now stand "in the valley of de- 
cision," we must, like Joshua, firmly 
declare, ". . . as for me and my house, 
we will serve the Lord. "(Josh. 24:15. )0 

August 1968 


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May 1968 

Funeral services were held at 
Farmington, Utah, for Amasa L. 
Clark, 102, last survivor of the original 
Primary class held in 1878. He died 
May 25. The banking and community 
leader had served the Church as mis- 
sionary, bishop, Scout leader, and 
stake Sunday School superintendent. 

June 1968 

The First Presidency announced 
the appointments of R. Wayne 
Shute and Walter R. Bills as mission 
presidents, with their fields of labor to 
be announced later. 

Upon hearing that Senator 
Robert F. Kennedy, presidential 
candidate, had succumbed to an assas- 
sin's bullet wounds, President David 0. 
McKay made this statement: 

"We join with a shocked American 
citizenry in expressing our deep sorrow 

The Church 
Moves On 

in the assassination of Senator Robert 
F. Kennedy. 

"His death under such deplorable 
circumstances is a tragedy not only to 
an American family and to a political 
party, but to the whole of our great 
nation. We regret the circumstances 
which have brought about his death 
at the very height of a prominent 

"We join with the rest of the nation 
in extending our sincere sympathy to 
his sorrowing widow and the members 
of his family and pray God's blessings 
will sustain them in this hour of their 

Senator Kennedy had visited Presi- 
dent McKay March 27. 

The First Presidency announced 
the appointment of Gordon M. 
Romney of El Paso, Texas, as presi- 
dent of the Mexican Mission. 

New stake presidency: President 
S. Perry Lee and counselors 
George L. Ward and Werner B. Moeller, 
Cannon (Salt Lake City) Stake. 

The First Presidency announced 
the appointments of Edward 
Yukio Okazaki, Robert E. Wells, and 
Milton J. Hess as mission presidents. 

These are the fields of labor for all 
of the new mission presidents recently 

Milton J. Hess, Australian West 
Stephen L. Brower, Colombia-Vene- 
Arturo Martinez, Mexican North 

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Improvement Era 

Hal Roscoe Johnson, Brazilian North 
Edward Y. Okazaki, Japan (formerly 

northern area of Northern Far East 

Arthur S. Anderson, Central Atlantic 

Walter R. Bills, Japan-Okinawa 

(southern Japan and Okinawa) 
Winfield Q. Cannon, West German 
M. Elmer Christensen, Swiss 
Wilbur W. Cox, California North 
Peter Dalebout, Netherlands 
C. Leland Davey, Canadian 
Paul H. Dunn, New England 
Warren Brent Hardy, Southern Far 

Allen E. Litster, Andes 
Arnold N. P. Roberts, Great Lakes 
Gordon M. Romney, Mexican 
R. Wayne Shute, Samoan 
Robert H. Slover, Korean 
Milton E. Smith, Central American 
Dale T. Tingey, Southwest Indian 
William Stanford Wagstaff, Gulf 

Harold N. Wilkinson, Eastern States 
Robert E. Wells, Northern Mexican 

Holladay South Stake, 460th in 
the current list of stakes, was 
organized from portions of Holladay 
(Salt Lake County) Stake by Elder 
Harold B. Lee of the Council of the 
Twelve and Elder Eldred G. Smith, 
Patriarch to the Church. Marvin L. 
Pugh was sustained as president, with 
Keith C. Brown and Dan Frampton as 

New stake presidencies sustained: 
President James R. Clegg and coun- 
selors Alfred H. Bennion and Chad C. 
Nelson, Millcreek (Salt Lake County) 
Stake; President Donald M. Ferguson 
and counselors Weston F. Killpack 
and Kenneth G. Bell, Temple View 
(Salt Lake City) Stake; President Mer- 
lin W. Sant and counselors John K. 
Carmack and William W. Tanner, Los 
Angeles (California) Stake. 

Mrs. Leola Seely Anderson, wife of 
President H. Duane Anderson of the 
French Mission, was killed in an auto- 
mobile accident near Bordeaux. Presi- 
dent Anderson received eight broken 

ribs and a broken wrist in the acci- 
dent. Mrs. Anderson, a native of Salt 
Lake City, taught with her husband at 
San Bernardino Valley College, Cali- 
fornia, prior to being called to the 
French Mission in May 1967. 

The appointment of Sharon Lee 
Staples of the Holladay (Salt 
Lake County) 25th Ward to the general 
board of the Young Women's Mutual 
Improvement Association was an- 
nounced. O 

Richard L. Evans 

The Spoken Word 

Consensus on young people with problems 

On the urgent question of law and order, and of young people 
with problems, a panel of internationally eminent enforcement 
officers had these significant things to say: 1 that crime has 
increased 55 percent while the nation's population has increased 10 per- 
cent; that there is about a 50-50 chance that a person arrested for a serious 
crime will be under 18 years of age, and the greatest increase is among 
those 14 years of age and under. Usually the die is cast on the side 
of criminality before the age of 14. It is shocking to absorb this shocking 
fact. About five out of every 100 persons between ten and 17 years of 
age become involved in the committing of serious crime, as measured 
by arrests— but 95 percent do not. The great preponderance of young 
people is not worse, but at least as good as, if not better than in former 
times. We should neither overestimate nor underestimate the unrest 
of youth. We should give it the meaning it deserves. The breakdown 
of the family is among the most serious contributors to crime; juvenile 
delinquency is evidence that a family is in trouble rather than just a 
boy or girl in trouble. The number of offenders that come from broken 
homes is far greater than the others. This is a known fact. (Our effort 
is aimed at healing the family.) Most indispensable is a feeling of 
affection, a warm and pleasant home atmosphere, disciplined training, 
wholesome outlets for the exuberance of youth, education and employ- 
ment opportunity, parental responsibility, and greater respect for living 
and upholding the law. The rule of law is the cornerstone of democracy. 
Unchecked, unrestrained, and lawless protest could tear down the founda- 
tions of civilization. We must look to our homes, ourselves, our 
character, our conduct; love our children more and not be permissive in 
disregard for law. Such are some of the conclusions of eminent pro- 
fessional men from five countries and three continents. It is true around 
the world, and reemphasizes what another eminent leader has said: 
"No other success can compensate for failure in the home."- 

] Quoted and paraphrased from panel of participants at Rotary International convention, Mexico 
City, May 15, 1968: Erwin D. Canham, editor-in-chief, Christian Science Monitor, Boston, 
Mass.; Chief Leonard G. Lawrence, president, International Association of Chiefs of Police, Inc., 
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; Kurth Lindroth, deputy, National Directorate of Police, Stockholm, 
Sweden; Dr. Gerhard Littman, Polizeiprasdent, Polizieprasidium, West Germany; Judge Yorihiro 
Naito, Tokyo, Japan. 

-President David O. McKay. 

Ht "The Spoken Word" from Temple Square, presented over KSL and the Columbia 
Broadcasting System May 19, 1968. Copyright 1968. 

August 1968 


Buffs and Rebuffs 

On Censorship 

I noted with great interest the article 
"Is Censorship the Answer?" [May] and 
the remarks of J. Edgar Hoover in "The 

Evils of Obscene Materials." I am di- 
rectly involved with the problem of 
objectionable literature in the Province 
of Alberta, being chairman of the Ad- 
visory Board on Objectionable Publica- 
tions of the Province of Alberta. 

Our provincial government has set up 
the board to serve with respect to comic 
books, tabloids, and magazines. The 
board was originally set up in 1955. as a 
result of pressure from various groups 

Richard L. Evans 

The Spoken Word 

To Finish . . . 

For youth, it is a season of searching and decision, with some com- 
pleting school, some deciding to continue to further attainment, 
some quitting before they acquire credentials. From the Master, 
there is a meaningful reminder: "For which of you, intending to build 
a tower, sitteth not down first, and countest the cost . . . ? Lest haply, 
after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that 
behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and 
was not able to finish." 1 This suggests commendation to those who 
have finished what good thing they began, and encouragement to 
those who have yet further to finish. There is special satisfaction and 
reward for the finishers. The opportunities are always less for the 
undisciplined mind or the untrained hand. It is a time when men 
should acquire competence, a time when men need to know. In this 
learning process we learn that Nature lives by law. And if we are to 
live in a safe and provident society, we learn that the process of law 
is an absolute essential. Another lesson to be learned is the need for 
our participating part in solving problems. Hamlet, in pondering his 
problems, said: "The time is out of joint; O cursed spite, that I was ever 
born to set it right."- We all were bom to set right what needs our 
efforts and what is within our reach. Another lesson to be learned is 
the law of work that God himself gave. Another is not letting interrup- 
tions keep us off course. Whatever intervenes, we should get back on 
course, in the pursuit of competence, as quickly as we can. As educa- 
tion teaches men to think, to work, to accept responsibility with respect 
for law and the lasting values of life, it is worth all the endeavor, and 
money, and time it takes. Everyone should acquire alj. the wholesome 
knowledge, all the qualifying credentials, all the competence he can, 
with fullest possible preparation. "For which of you, intending to build 
a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost"— and which of vou 
would choose to fail to finish? 

'Luke 14:28-30. 

-Shakespeare, Hamlet. Act I, so. 5. 

* "The Spoken Word" from Temple Square, presented over KSL and the Columbia 
Broadcasting System June 2, 1968. Copyright 1968. 

and individuals, and has proven very 
effective. The board fortunately has 
entered into a working agreement with 
three wholesale distributors whereby any 
magazine found objectionable by the 
board is removed from distribution by 
the distributors. This working agreement 
has operated since 1959; and as a result, 
over 170 publications have been with- 
drawn from distribution here in the 
Province of Alberta. 

The author of "Censorship," Dr. 
Dallas Burnett, says, "Genuine citizen 
concern is absolutely essential in fight- 
ing pornography." I can endorse whole- 
heartedly this observation, and illustrate 
the result thereof by what has happened 
in Alberta. I might add that the board 
encourages the public to forward for 
review publications that they consider 
objectionable. . . . The board also recog- 
nizes the danger of over-zealousness, 
and, therefore, we have adopted a 
unanimity ride whereby any publication 
recommended for withdrawal must 
have the unanimous consent of each 
member of the board. 

Donald V. Steele 
Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada 

I was pleased to note- the excellent cov- 
erage afforded my message in your May 
issue, and it is my hope that your readers 
found my comments of interest. 

J. Edgar Hoover, Director 
Federal Bureau of Investigation 
Washington, D. C. 

After High School What? 

We have received many letters thanking 
us for the article, "After High School 
What?" [April Era of Youth], and we 
thought that you would appreciate know- 
ing that it seemed to answer many ques- 
tions and to serve a need. The following 
are sample quotes: 

A woman from Lovell, Wyoming: 
". . . it is an answer to our prayers. I 
have a son who just doesn't know which 
way to go, and I am hoping you can 
help." A girl from Kyoto, Japan: "I am 
going to study LDS Business College 
next May. Can you help me place to 
stay and cost for education?" A mother 
from New York: "I was inspired to seek 
your office as a source of help after 
reading my recent Era." A student from 
Nebraska: "I need help on what to do. 
Your article seems an answer to my 
prayers." A brother from Guatemala: 
"Please send us more information. There 
are several young men and girls here 
that need help in their educational 
planning." A student from New Jersey: 
". . . it cannot be praised enough. It ap- 
peared just at the time that it could be 
of most value." 

Robert Spencer, Director 
Educational Information & 
Guidance Center 
for LDS Students 
Provo, Utah 

Cumorah Pageants 

'the article "Early Cumorah Pageants" 
[June] and the accompanying illustra- 


Improvement Era 

tions are excellent, and I've received 
favorable comment from friends in 
various areas. 

Dr. Oliver R. Smith 
Brigharri Young University 

Clams and Gravel 

Thank you so very much for the check. 
We have a standing promise that when 
Mamma sells a story, the family goes 
out to dinner. So we went out, all eight 
of us, to a clam dinner. There was 
enough left over to buy a load of gravel 
for the driveway. So you see, the Era 
spreads joy in all directions. 

Virginia M. Kammeyer 
Seattle, Washington 

Strength to Missionaries, Members 

We see your names monthly and think 
about the good work you are doing in 
sending us the inspiration and motiva- 
tion that is contained within the Era. I 
didn't ever realize how valuable it was 
until receiving this mission assignment. 
The magazine is a great strength to the 
members and to the missionaries. We 
appreciate the effort and time that go 
into preparing each monthly copy. 

George I. Cannon, President 
Central British Mission 

Manti Temple 

I recently visited the Manti Temple and 
noticed there are numerous spots on the 
temple exterior that seemingly were 
made for very small windows, but that 
now contain a stone in them instead of 
glass. Can you tell me about this? 

Kathy Christiansen 
Hooper, Utah 

According to A. Bent Peterson, Manti 
Temple president, in the building of the 
temple, small openings were left at 
designated places for the boom poles or 
tie poles of the scaffolding to run through 
the walls into the building. By this 
method, scaffolding was placed at the 
right distance from the building and 
made steady and safe for workers. When 
the building was completed and the 
scaffolding removed, the small openings 
were filled with pieces of stone. 

President Peterson also chided us for 
mistakenly using the photo of the Ari- 
zona Temple baptismal font with the 
Manti Temple article. Here is the cor- 
rect Manti Temple font: 

"Menus for Missionaries" 

Thanks for the menus [Today's Family, 
March] and help in meal planning. As 
missionaries with little time for meal 
preparation, we found the recipes help- 
ful. We tried the idea of planning our 
weekly menu, and it saved us both time 
and money. 

Sisters Kienitz and Gilmore 
New Zealand Mission 

Folk Tale 
By Maureen Cannon 

My village, like a sleepy tortoise, blinks, 

Bewildered by the sudden summer cries 

Of tourists in pursuit, and, trembling, shrinks 

And wishes it tvere half its tiny size — 

In June, that is. By August, coffers filling 

With guidebook gold, it's rather more than willing 

To play the game and murmur no complaint. 

There's not another village quite so "quaint." 

August 1968 





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corn is dry. 

Through Sabbath hush, there 
rings a prophet's word: 

"Will man rob God? Open your 
hearts and give! 

Give, and bring tithes, with con- 
trite souls and stirred, 

And rain shall come — your corn, 
your crops shall live." 

Ah, does the Lord give promises 
in vain? 

Through the ensuing days of 
drought, each shows 

Triumphant trust, till skies 
flood black with rain, 

And each heart's cup of glad- 
ness overflows. 

He who ivas spent in dusty 

thirst and grief 
Can iveigh this precious harvest 

of belief. 


Improvement Era 

New England 


in the Rise and Progress 

01 tile dhUrCll By Gustive O. Larson 

"Vermont, you know, also has a claim upon Brigham 
Young." The speaker was the governor of Vermont, who 
was in Utah for a governor's conference in 1947. He 
might have made the same claim on Joseph Smith, in 
whose footsteps the Mormon colonizer faithfully fol- 

Brigham Young was born at Wittenburg, Vermont, 
and a statue of him is in the Statuary Hall, Washington, 
D.C., representing the state of Utah. A marble shaft, 
rising high about Joseph Smith's birthplace in Sharon, 
Windsor County, Vermont, serves as a shrine for today's 
members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day 
Saints. These two sons of Vermont are worthy repre- 
sentatives of New England leadership, which dominated 
the rise and progress of Mormonism in America. 

Seven of Joseph Smith's forefathers came to America 
on the Mayflower in 1620; three of them signed the 
Mayflower Compact. Several of the ancestors of Joseph 
Smith and Brigham Young served creditably in the 
American Revolution. The names of others appeared on 
pioneering rolls, in public office, and in the ministry. 

Gustive 0. Larson, high priest group leader in the Oak 
Hills Second Ward, East Sharon Stake, and associate 
professor of history and religion at Brigham Young Uni- 
versity, is a former Swedish Mission president and author 
of several Church books and lesson manuals. 

They helped create the New England backgrounds from 
which not only came the Smiths and Youngs, but also 
most of the early converts to the Church who moved 
west across the continent. 

The considerable number of these converts and their 
dominance in the progress of the Church created ties 
with the New England states that continue to this day. 

Beyond environmental factors in its origin, Mormon- 
ism claims divine intervention in the restoration of the 
Church of Jesus Christ. Nowhere was the stage set more 
perfectly for the drama of the restoration than in the 
"burned-over district" 1 of western New York in the 
early decades of the nineteenth century. Here a reform 
movement was in full swing with its search for commu- 
nitarian Utopias and millennial fulfillments. Religious 
revivals stirred the souls of men to repentance and to 
inquiry after the true word of God. Here a modern 
prophet could rise with a message and a program to sat- 
isfy the longings of seekers after truth and those dissatis- 
fied with current religious creeds. 

It was in this setting that the Prophet Joseph Smith 
made his startling announcement that God had spoken 
anew from the heavens. The religious questions of the 
day were given definite answers in modern scriptures; 
every worthy male convert became a responsible agent 
of the kingdom of God through reception of the Holy 
Priesthood; and salvation emphasis shifted from sectarian 
repentance in preparation for the life to come, to 

August 1968 


achievement of heavenly rewards for righteous living 
here and now. 

Those male converts to The Church of Jesus Christ 
of Latter-day Saints who were ordained to the priest- 
hood felt called to share the message of the restoration 
with relatives and friends and to warn their neighbors 
against the day of Christ's coming. 

Soon after its official organization at Fayette, New 
York, on April 6, 1830, headquarters of the Church was 
moved to Kirtland in eastern Ohio. In July 1831, Jack- 
son County, Missouri, was designated as "Zion," to 
which the modern Saints were encouraged to gather. 
From these two centers, proselyting was extended with 
considerable success through Ohio, Pennsylvania, the 
middle and southern states, and Canada. But nowhere 
were Mormon missionary labors rewarded as they were 
in New York and New England states. It was natural 
that converts from western New York should return with 
the "good news" to friends and relatives in Vermont, 
Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maine, or Massachusetts. 

While sporadic contacts had been made earlier, it 
was in 1832 that four stalwart native sons returned to 
New England to open that region to Mormonism. Orson 
Hyde and Samuel Smith labored in the area cast of the 
Connecticut River, while Orson Pratt and Lyman E. 
Johnson proselyted between the Connecticut and the 
Hudson. The following year Pratt and Johnson recorded 
baptizing 50 converts, and John T. Boynton and Jared 
Carter had similar success in Maine. Soon more than 
two score congregations of Latter-day Saints arose with- 
in 150 miles from the Connecticut River Valley. - 

In 1835 the newly appointed Council of Twelve 
Apostles moved in a body through New York into New 
England, preaching and organizing the scattered units 
for more effective administration. The numerous 

Some 21 of the 29 men 
in the Church 

branches were grouped into three geographically defined 
conferences, including the areas of Vermont, Maine, and 
Massachusetts. While New York, the state of its birth, 
contributed the greatest number of converts to the 
Church during the 1830's and 1840's, New England as 
a whole roughly equalled that number. 

In 1835, when the Church organization had devel- 
oped into its present general pattern, 26 men occupied 
places of trust in the First Presidency, the Council of the 
Twelve Apostles, and the presidents of seventies. In 
addition, there were a patriarch and two bishops. For 
our purposes we are using the membership of the First 
Council of the Seventy as it functioned after April 1837. 
These 26 men are listed in the top chart at the bottom 
of this page. 

Eight of the leaders that are listed were natives of 
Vermont, six of Massachusetts, three of Connecticut (to 
whom might be added the Pratt brothers, whose parents 
came from there), three of New York, two of Pennsyl- 
vania, and one each of Maine, Tennessee, Indiana, and 
New Hampshire. 

Before Joseph Smith's death in Illinois nearly a dec- 
ade later, several changes had taken place in the top 
ranks of the Church. Brigham Young, by virtue of 
seniority, had advanced to the presidency of the Council 
of the Twelve Apostles. Twelve of the original leaders 
had dropped out, and eight of those who replaced them 
were of New England stock. The revised leadership 
included those in bottom chart below. 


Places of Birth 

Heber C. Kimball 


Presidents of Seventies: 

Orson Hyde 


Joseph Young 



William E. McLellin 


Levi W. Hancock 


Joseph Smith, Jr. 


Parley P. Pratt 

New York 

James Foster 


Sidney Rigdon 


Luke S. Johnson 


Daniel S. Miles 

New Hampshire 

Frederick G. Williams Connecticut 

William B. Smith 


Josiah Butterfield 


Oliver Cowdery* 


Orson Pratt 

New York 

John Gaylord 


Quorum of Twelve 


John F. Boynton 


Salmon Gee 


Thomas B. Marsh 


Lyman E. Johnson 



David W. Patten 

New York 


Edward Partridge 


Brigham Young 


Joseph Smith, Sr. 


Newell K. Whitney 


Hyrum Smith 


Wilford Woodruff Connecticut 

Lyman Wight 

New York 

William Law 


George A. Smith New York 

Amasa Lyman 

New Hampshire 

John E. Page 

New York 

(New Hampshire) 

Henry Harriman 


John Taylor 


Willard Richards Massachusetts 

Zera Pulsipher 



Improvement Era 

who in 1835 held prominent positions 
were from New England. 

Upon learning of the Prophet's martyrdom on June 
27, 1844, Brigham Young, who was then on a mission 
in New England, quickly sensed his responsibility as 
head of the Council of the Twelve. That body, before 
returning to Nauvoo, issued its first communication to 
the Church from the city of Boston on July 18. Back 
in Nauvoo the council was sustained as the presiding 
authority of the Church, with Brigham Young at its 

As part of the general reorganization, the new leader 
appointed Parley P. Pratt in December 1 844 to supervise 
Church affairs in the New York region, and Ezra T. 
Benson, native of Massachusetts, to take charge of the 
Boston Conference. After leading a number of the Saints 
west to Nauvoo the following year, Benson became a 
member of the first company moving out in the exodus 
of 1846. At Council Bluffs, he was ordained an apostle. 

The Church in America now included 5,000 English 
converts. Also, many others, responding to the message 
of the restoration in America, were adding substantially 
to the gathering stream pouring into the Great Basin 
beyond the Rockies. But in the accounting of the first 
year's arrivals in the Salt Lake Valley in 1847, New 
Yorkers ranked first in numbers and were equalled by 
the combined representation from the New England 
states. Forty of the original pioneer group of 146 adults 
were born in New England. There was also a good 
sprinkling of New Englanders in the Mormon Battalion, 
which marched as part of the U.S. forces in the war 
against Mexico. The invitation for 500 Mormons to 
participate as a battalion in the march to California 
came in response to the efforts in Washington of Jesse 
C. Little, a native of Maine, working closely with others. 

Other New Englanders rose to Church and civic 
leadership in the days before Utah achieved statehood 
in 1896. When the Mormons applied for statehood in 
1849 under a constitution largely formulated by New 
England lawmakers, they elected Almon W. Babbitt, 
lawyer from Massachusetts, as delegate to Congress. 
Lorenzo Snow, born in Ohio of Puritan parentage, be- 
came an apostle and later successor to Wilford Wood- 
ruff as President of the Church. 

Erastus Snow, from Vermont, and Franklin D. Rich- 
ards, of Massachusetts, also rose to apostolic leadership 
while engaging actively in civic affairs. Daniel H. Wells, 
mayor of Salt Lake City, superintendent of public works, 
and counselor to Brigham Young, was born in New 

York, but he had Connecticut ancestry. The Perpetual 
Emigrating Fund Company, successful agency in assist- 
ing over a hundred thousand Mormon converts to 
emigrate to Zion, was organized and officered by 15 
men, of whom 11 were natives of New England. 

Most of the Church officials played important civic 
and political roles during the years of Utah's provisional 
and territorial government. It was fitting that John 
Henry Smith, grandson of Patriarch John Smith of New 
Hampshire, should preside over the convention that 
wrote Utah's state constitution in 1895, and that Heber 
M. Wells, descendant of a popular Connecticut gov- 
ernor, should be elected as the first governor of Utah. 

Notwithstanding its distinctive origins, the Mormon 
village reflected certain influences of the New England 
community life. The ward bishop and his congregation 
were the basic unit of community development, just as 
were the pastor and his congregation in New England. 
Local government and social activities were governed by- 
religious leaders. Like the Puritans, the Mormons could 
readily convert the congregation into a civic body to 
enact local laws and take measures for the general wel- 
fare. Both represented theocracies in which government 
and religion were influenced to varying degrees by 
calvinistic austerity.' 

The New Englander's frugality and resourcefulness 
found voice in the revelation given to Joseph Smith: 
"Thou shalt not be idle; for he that is idle shall not eat 
the bread nor wear the garments of the laborer" (D&C 
42:42), and in Brigham Young's "every man should 
have his land measured off to him for city and farming 
purposes, what he could till. He might till it as he 
pleased, but he should be industrious and take care 

of it 


The considerable number of New England scholars 
who rose to leadership in the restored Church found 
themselves at home in the Mormon environment, where 
modern revelation related learning to salvation. 
Nowhere was the Puritan emphasis on education better 
expressed than in these Latter-day Saint teachings: 
"A man is saved no faster than he gets knowledge" 
(Documentary History of the Church, Vol. 4, p. 588); 
"It is impossible for a man to be saved in ignorance" 
(D&C 131:6); "Whatever principle of intelligence we 
attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resur- 
rection" (D&C 131:18); ". . . seek ye out of the best 
books w r ords of wisdom; seek learning, even by study 

August 1968 


and also by faith." (D&C 88:118.) 

Such religious teachings bore fruit at an early date, 
for just as the New Englanders produced their own 
primer in 1690, so came the command to W. W. Phelps 
and Oliver Cowdery "to do the work ... of selecting 
and writing books for schools in this church, that little 
children also may receive instruction. . . ." (D&C 55:4.) 
From that June day in Kirtland, Ohio, 1831, primary 
interest in education characterized the Latter-day Saints 
in Missouri, in Illinois, and in Utah where, during the 
first winter, two schools were maintained for the pioneer 
children. And just as Harvard University grew out of 
New England's thirst for advanced education, so two 
universities were established at an early date in Utah 
to train teachers for a rapidly growing school system. 
Results from this religious philosophy appear in Utah's 
high educational accomplishment in relation to a rela- 
tively low supporting ability. They are also reflected in 
Utah's commendable record of continued pursuit of 
education into higher levels of learning. 

Mormon leaders shared with those New England 
co-founders of U. S. government a deep reverence for 
the United States Constitution. Said Joseph Smith, 
". . . the Constitution of the United States is a glorious 
standard; it is founded in the wisdom of God. It is a 
heavenly banner." {DHC, Vol. 3, p. 304.) This rever- 
ence for the Constitution kept the Mormons loyal to the 
United States even when they were driven from its 
confines by irresponsible mobs. It kept them in the 
Union when the southern states urged Utah's secession 
in defense of the principle of states' rights. 

In view of such common factors, it was not surprising 
that the principles of the restored Church of Jesus Christ 
should appeal to New Englanders. These early Church 
leaders were challenged to investigate the light of truth 
that flashed into their spiritual darkness. Roger Wil- 

liams recognized this darkness when he said, "There 
is no regularly constituted church of Christ on earth, 
nor any person authorized to administer any church 
ordinance, nor can there be until new apostles are 
sent by the head of the church, for whose coming 
I am seeking." (William Cullen Bryant, Picturesque 
America [1872], Vol. 1, p. 500.) 

Two hundred years later Ralph Waldo Emerson 
echoed Roger Williams' confession by saying, "and now 
it is my duty to say to you that the need was never 
greater for new revelation than now; . . . men have come 
to speak of revelation as somewhat long ago given and 
done, as if God were dead. The injury to faith throttles 
the preacher; the godliest of institutions becomes an 
uncertain and inarticulate voice." 

God called Joseph Smith, the American Prophet, to 
fill this spiritual vacuum. Through this New England 
youth, in whose honor the granite shaft now rises high 
above Sharon, Vermont, the Church of Jesus Christ 
was restored in its fullness on April 6, 1830. Under the 
leadership of the Prophet's successor, Brigham Young, 
the Church was led into the West to become a base from 
which the gospel message is being carried to all the 
world. Other New Englanders accepted the challenge 
to investigate the message of the restored gospel and 
found in it the more abundant life on earth and the way 
of salvation beyond. In return, as they dedicated their 
lives to God's service, they contributed much to the 
progress of the Church. O 


1 So called by Whitney Cross in his book by that title because of the 
intensity of recurring religious revivals in the Finger Lakes area. 

2 George S. Ellsworth, "A History of the L.D.S. Missions in the United 
States and Canada, 1830-1847" (unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of 
California, Berkeley, 1951). 

3 Cowdery is included here because of his close association with Joseph Smith 
and his temporary position of "assistant president." 

4 This was well demonstrated in the Mormon reformation in 1856. See 
Gustive O. Larson, "The Mormon Reformation," (Utah Historical Quarterly, 
January 1958), p. 58. 

&Wilford Woodruff, Journal, July 25, 1847. 

By Thelma Ireland 

I lust rated by Turk Evans 

Five sea gulls frolic with the wake. 
They chase the whitecaps as they break. 
They dip, they dive, they soar, they glide, 
They circle downward to one side; 

They swoop in rhythm as in song. 
They stay aloft the whole day long. 
I think that they are mocking me, 
Who has to ride a ship to sea. 


Improvement Era 

" . . . since 1830 there had been 

a growing tendency 

for all Christian denominations 

toward simplification 

and convergence " 


These Times 

By Dr. G. Homer Durham 

President, Arizona State University 

• Effective September 8, 1968, 
ceremonial in the Roman Catholic 
mode of worship is to be simpli- 
fied and will aim at attaining a 
"halo of light and purity." The 
announcement was made by Pope 
Paul VI from Vatican City June 25, 

1968. The reports were widely 
circulated in the press thereafter. 
As reported, the Pope announced 
that "thrones" for the world's 
Catholic bishops were being 
abolished, the vestments worn 
will be modified, and the number 

August 1968 


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General Agents, Salt Lake City 

The announcement moves "the 

of worship away from 
influence of fourth century 

of persons assisting a bishop in 
celebrating mass will be reduced. 

A glance at history will place 
these changes in perspective. By 
the time of the twentieth century, 
two different opinions concerning 
"church" and "worship" were 
widely evident in the Christian 
world. Both opinions claim scrip- 
ture as authority. One view holds 
that Jesus Christ established, in 
his lifetime, a definite church 
with a code of doctrines, laws, 
beliefs, and authority for its 
government. The other argues 
that he gave no set forms or sys- 
tems of discipline or government, 
but that he taught the gospel as a 
means of religious and moral in- 
struction; that where two or three 
would gather in his name for 
worship, there would he also be, 
and so forth. 

Section 20 of the Doctrine and 
Covenants, the great section on 
church organization and govern- 
ment given in April 1830, advised 
Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery 
that the Church was to be "regu- 
larly organized and established 
agreeable to the laws of our 
country." (Verse 1.) The spirit 
underlying the mode of worship 
was outlined as follows: 

"The elders are to conduct 
the meetings as they are led 
by the Holy Ghost, according 
to the commandments and revela- 
tions of God." (Verse 45.) 

Probably the most thorough 
Latter-day Saint student of the ori- 
gins and development of the early 
Christian church was Dr. James 
L. Barker, for many years chair- 
man of the Department of Lan- 


guages at the University of 
Utah and a vigorous member 
of the Sunday School general 
board under the superintendency 
of Elder David 0. McKay. In his 
later years he also served as 
president of the Argentine Mission 
and then as president of the 
French Mission. 

His life-long interest in the 
history of the Christian church is 
expressed in three consecutive 
volumes entitled "The Divine 
Church: Down Through Change, 
Apostasy Therefrom, and Restora- 
tion" (Vol. 1, 256 pages, pub- 
lished by the Council of the 
Twelve, 1951; Vol. 2, 200 pages 
plus 1 page appendix, ibid., 1951; 
and Vol. 3, 305 pages plus 2-page 
map, ibid., 1951). These three 
volumes constituted the course 
of study for the Melchizedek 
Priesthood quorums for the years 
1952, 1953, and 1954 respec- 
tively. It was Dr. Barker's feeling, 
expressed in my presence on 
many occasions, that since 1830 
there had been a growing ten- 
dency for all Christian denomina- 
tions toward simplification and 
convergence respecting organiza- 
tion forms, doctrines, beliefs, and 
the mode of worship. Were he 
alive today, I believe his com- 
ments on the announcement of 
Pope Paul VI would run strongly 
along such a line. 

Dr. Barker, with many other 
scholars and encyclopedists, regu- 
larly pointed out that the form of 
Christian worship after the fourth 
century, under the influence of 
"Caesaro-papism" (as Dr. Barker 
styled it), was molded to the form 

Improvement Era 

Roman Catholic mode 

the cultura 

Roman government. 

and style of the basilicas, or the 
royal public halls of the Roman 
empire. As described by one 

"The basilica was generally in 
the form of a parallelogram, with 
a semi-circular apse at one end, 
which was raised, being ap- 
proached by a semi-circular range 
of steps. In the center of this 
apse was the raised seat of the 
quaestor or other presiding magis- 
trate; on each side, upon the steps 
were places for the assessors, or 
those engaged in the business 
being transacted. In the front of 
the apse was placed an altar, 
where sacrifice was performed 
before undertaking public busi- 
ness of any importance. The area 
of the building was divided by two 
rows of columns, the central 
division or nave being the broad- 
est. . . . 

"In such a building as above 
described, the whole congrega- 
tion of the faithful (after the 
persecuted Christians, in the time 
of Constantine, emerged from 
their meeting places in upper 
rooms and catacombs) could meet 
and take part in the act of wor- 
ship. The bishop naturally took 
the place of the quaestor, the 
priests that of the assessors. The 
altar on which the pious pagan 
poured his libations at the com- 
mencement of important business 
served equally well for the cele- 
bration of Christian rites. When in 
the course of time the separation 
between laity and clergy became 
complete, the apse was railed off 
and appropriated to the use of 
the clergy. . . ." 

Pope Paul's announcement 
does more than move toward 
simplification and the "halo of 
light and purity." It also appears 
to move the Roman Catholic mode 
of worship away from the cultural 
influence of fourth century Roman 
government. As such, the Pope's 
announcement and the changes 
effective September 8 may be 
expected to exert a similar influ- 
ence throughout western Christen- 

The bishop's throne becomes, 
states the press, "simply a chair." 
The baldachin or canopy over the 
throne is abolished (unless it 
happens to be a work of sacred 
artistic value). The bishop will 
put on his vestments in the 
sacristy or, if necessary, at his 
chair or at the altar. The vest- 
ments will no longer be placed on 
the altar. 

The practice of priests genu- 
flecting before the bishop is 
abolished. The lavabo, or washing 
of hands by the bishop, will be 
administered by acolytes and not 
priests. (The washing of hands in 
religious ceremonies is very an- 
cient and characterized Hebrew 
worship. Readers of this column 
who have held the office of priest 
in the Aaronic Priesthood, and 
who have served in the adminis- 
tration of the sacrament of the 
Lord's supper, will recall from 
their youth an approximation of a 

The prayers of preparation 
for the mass are abolished. The 
bishop may omit wearing his miter 
or carrying a staff in moving from 
one place to another, and he will 
not use the miter during the 
lavabo or while spreading incense. 

These changes, joined with the 
earlier authorization to conduct 
Roman Catholic services in the 
local language rather than in 
Latin, carry more than ordinary 
interest for the modes and man- 
ners of worship in these times. o 

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End of an Era 

All missionaries fail to enjoy 
one great experience: Their 
parents inevitably "grow up" 
while they're away, and they 
miss witnessing the transition. 
— Verge Young, Thornton, Idaho 

While tracting in a small 

Michigan city, my companion 

and I contacted an old man 

living in a quite dilapidated 

house. During our conversation 

with him, he asked where 

our church was. My companion 

replied, "We haven't got a 

chapel built here yet, but 

we hope to in the near future. 

The headquarters of the Church 

are in Salt Lake City, Utah." 

The old man looked bewildered, 

then said, "Well, son, that's 

a mite too far for me to travel 

each Sunday!" 

—Elder I. B. Crockett, 
Great Lakes Mission 

Nothing in the world is foolproof 
as long as there is a fool. 

"I'm sure you will like Jack," 
said the oldest daughter, just 
home from college. "He's a fine 
young man." "Has h'e got 
any property?" demanded her 
father. "Oh, you men are 
so curious," sighed the girl. 
"Jack asked me the same thing 
about you." 

• • • 

Adventure is not outside" a man; 
it is within. 
— David Grayson 

• • • 

"Mother's in the hospital," 
explained the six-year-old boy 
when a neighbor called, 
"and me and Daddy and 
Georgie and Margaret and the 
twins are here all alone." 

The peace for ivhich the world 
longs is a time of suspended 
hostilities; but men do not 
realize that peace is a state of 
existence that comes to man 
only upon the terms and 
conditions set by God, and in 
no other way. 

— Elder Howard W. Hunter 

Keeping up with the Joneses 
is bad enough, but passing 
them on a hill is worse. 

Planning ahead: Learning the 
words of all the hymns 
before getting so old that 
you need glasses. 
— T. Kirkwood Collins 

The greatest thing in family 
life is to take a hint when a 
hint is intended-and not to 
take a hint when a hint isn't 

— Robert Frost, American poet 

What a good thing Adam had: 
When he said a good thing, he 
knew nobody had said it before. 

— Mark Twain, American humorist 

You can't pick a lock with a 
pickle, you can't cure the sick 
-with a sickle, pluck figs with a 
figment, drive pigs with a 
pigment, nor make your watch 
tick with a tickle. You can't 
slacken your gait with a gaiter, 
you can't get a crate with a 
crater, catch moles with a 
molar, bake rolls with a roller. 
But you can get a wait 
from a waiter! 

— Sunshine Magazine 




As Scoutmaster of the Manavu 
Ward troop, I was suggesting 
possible summer camp trips. One 
Scout, when asked where he 
would like to go, continually 
stated he wanted to camp behind 
the chapel. Thinking he was 
joking, I passed it by. But 
when he insisted that this was 
really where he wanted to 
camp, I asked him why. 
"Because," he replied, "I've been 
taught all my life to stay close 
to the Church!" 
— Rodney McClung, Provo, Utah 

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Improvement Era 

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for any family 

especially when it has been planned for . . 

o/nmmnce (S^^\ {^jomm/iu 

Virgil H. Smith, Pre* 

Salt Lake City, Utah